The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.
Following the release of a damning intelligence report alleging that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, CPJ called on the U.S. and allies to sanction the crown prince. CPJ’s Senior Middle East and North Africa Researcher Justin Shilad examined report takeaways, noting that while U.S. President Joe Biden has indicated a shift in policy from the previous administration, it’s unclear how far he’ll go to hold the crown prince accountable. CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon and Knight First Amendment Institute Director Jameel Jaffer outline how Biden, Congress, and business and civic leaders could deliver justice for Khashoggi in an op-ed in Just Security.
Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, CPJ spoke with Brazilian journalist and 2019 IPFA honoree Patrícia Campos Mello about the ongoing harassment she’s faced, including from the president’s son, and how she won her lawsuit against him. To learn more about Campos Mello, tune in Monday, as she joins CPJ at an event hosted by the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) and the U.S. Embassy on online harassment and threats to journalists in both countries.
Global press freedom updates
- CPJ calls on Myanmar military to release all journalists detained amid crackdown. Media workers detained in the past week include AP journalist Thein Zaw and Democratic Voice of Burma reporter Kaung Myat Hlaing.
- Unidentified attackers shoot and kill three Enikass Radio and TV employees in Afghanistan
- Ethiopian military detains BBC reporter, translators for AFP and Financial Times, then releases them without charge
- Egyptian columnist Gamal al-Gamal arrested, charged with terrorism, false news
- CPJ condemns sentencing of Belarus journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich to 6 months in jail
- Russian journalist Natalia Zubkova in hiding following attack, death threats
- Investigative journalist Visar Duriqi assaulted in Kosovo
- Georgian journalist Vakhtang Sanaia receives concussion from assault by 3 attackers
- Foreign correspondents in China face COVID-19 restrictions and expulsions, report finds
- CPJ joins call for Nicaragua government to stop restricting press freedom
- Northern Ireland police investigating graffiti threats to reporter Patricia Devlin
- L’Alternative newspaper suspended, director harassed in Togo
- Liberian journalists assaulted while covering senate election, sports tournament
Last year saw a disturbing uptick in threats to U.S. journalists, many during protests. Andrea Sahouri was one of those, pepper-sprayed and arrested while covering Black Lives Matter protests in Iowa. While most journalists arrested had charges dropped, Sahouri must appear in court on March 8 on charges of “failure to disperse” and “interference with official acts.” No journalist should be charged for carrying out their job. Show your support this Monday at 9:00 a.m. EST on social media with the hashtag #StandWithAndrea.
Marking International Women’s Day, CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch will explore challenges faced by women journalists worldwide in a keynote speech for the OSCE’s “Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Media Freedom and Gender Equality.” Stream the event Monday at 9 a.m. EST/3 p.m. CET.
What we are reading, watching, and listening to
- ‘People told me this wasn’t a job for women’: photojournalist Anush Babajanyan on documenting the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict — As told to Madeleine Nosworthy, The Calvert Journal
- They were arrested while covering protests last year. They’re still in legal limbo. — Jon Allsop, Columbia Journalism Review
- Myanmar’s Military Deploys Digital Arsenal of Repression in Crackdown — Hannah Beech, The New York Times
- ’Power of the Streets’ podcast: Power of the Lens – Audrey Kawire Wabwire interviews visual storyteller Kiki Mordi, Human Rights Watch
- Opinion: My father was assassinated 12 years ago. Sri Lanka’s leaders are still denying us justice. — Ahimsa Wickrematunge, The Washington Post
- Distinct Vulnerabilities of Women Journalists: Afterthoughts on the Priya Ramani Case — Pamela Philipose, The Wire
- Video: Myanmar police hold AP journalist in chokehold — Associated Press
- Video: 2020 Journalism Under Fire conference
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