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.
Burkina Faso was the site of tragedy this week as Spanish journalists David Beriain and Roberto Fraile were killed after being abducted Monday from a wildlife reserve. The pair were working on a documentary about poaching when unidentified gunmen ambushed the group they were traveling with. CPJ called on authorities to thoroughly investigate the killings and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. Learn more here.
In central Guatemala, Indigenous journalist Anastasia Mejía was imprisoned without trial for 37 days for her reporting. Today, five months after being released, her work has been severely limited. Still, she vows to keep reporting, she told CPJ.
Today, CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon and Board Chair Kathleen Carroll, along with colleagues from other leading press freedom groups, met with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to discuss concerns about press freedom worldwide. CPJ published a white paper in November on restoring U.S. press freedom leadership.
Global press freedom updates
- Colombian journalist Luis Carlos Ayala survives shooting
- Myanmar must release the dozens of journalists in its jails in wake of military coup
- CPJ and partners urge the U.S. attorney general to investigate law enforcement’s treatment of the press as part of the Justice Department’s civil rights probes.
- Russian court jails journalist for 30 days over Navalny protest coverage
- Police in Russia detained at least 10 journalists covering pro-Navalny rallies. Separately, Russia designates independent outlets Meduza and PASMI as foreign agents. And in the Russian republic of North Ossetia, journalist Timur Mazayev receives death threats over news outlet’s Instagram post
- Nigerian journalist Frederick Olatunde Odimayo beaten over drug reporting. Separately, police summon Daily Nigerian publisher following governor’s threat
- Kenya police threaten to summon Citizen TV staff over investigation into illegal gun trade
- Unidentified man attacks Italian TV crew with metal chain, injuring 3
- Iraqi Kurdish security forces arrest reporter Rebaz Hassan
- Israeli security forces arrest Palestinian journalist Alaa al-Rimawi in Ramallah
- Algerian freelance journalist Said Boudour arrested while covering protests
- Vietnam sentences independent reporter Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu to 8 years in prison
- Hong Kong court convicts, fines journalist over documentary research
- Bangladesh journalist Abu Tayeb jailed under Digital Security Act
- Mexican authorities order website to remove articles critical of political candidate
- Argentine court charges journalist Daniel Santoro with attempted extortion
- Venezuelan National Union of Journalists office destroyed in arson attack
- Uzbek journalist Sid Yanyshev charged over corruption reporting. Separately, new Uzbekistan laws ban using internet to ‘disrespect’ the government, organize protests
- CPJ and partners urge Biden administration not to waive human rights conditions on Egypt aid
- CPJ joins letter urging NSO to act on commitments to curb spyware abuse
- Council of Europe journalist safety platform warns in its annual report of backsliding on press freedom
CPJ has an exciting slate of events to mark World Press Freedom Day, May 3. Join the conversation on Instagram ahead of time on May 2, where we’ll be asking why journalism matters to you.
On Saturday, CPJ is co-hosting and moderating a virtual panel, “Creating champions: cultivating and capacity-building public defenders of press freedom,” at the official UNESCO World Press Freedom Day conference.
On Monday, tune in first to a livestreamed conversation hosted by Amnesty Africa at 7 a.m. EDT (2 p.m. Nairobi time) titled, “Journalism in Africa: Reflecting on challenges and opportunities for change,” featuring CPJ Africa Representative Muthoki Mumo.
At 8 a.m. EDT, CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon will deliver opening remarks at a panel discussion on global press freedom, hosted by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and featuring journalists from around the world. Catch the livestream here.
At 9 a.m. EDT (3 p.m. CET), CPJ’s deputy executive director, Robert Mahoney, will join a round table on global journalist safety at the UNESCO conference hosted by News Decoder.
At 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. BST), CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, Gulnoza Said, will join a discussion hosted by the Centre for Turkey Studies, “How the Turkish media has been immersed into the quagmire of oppression, self-censorship, corruption and polarisation.”
Rounding out the day, CPJ Board Chair Kathleen Carroll will join Forbes Chief Content Officer Randall Lane for a live Instagram “Ask the expert” Q&A on protecting press freedom at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
On Tuesday, Mumo will join an event hosted by the National Press Club, “Conversations with Correspondents: Journalism in Africa – Perils, Pitfalls, and Opportunities,” 9 a.m. EDT. RSVP here.
At 11 a.m. EDT, turning the conversation to Europe, Said will join a panel discussion titled, “When Journalism is Considered a Crime: The Risks of Covering Protest Movements in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.”
And wrapping up the week, next Friday CPJ Emergencies Director Maria Salazar Ferro will lead a virtual conversation on reporting on the frontlines of COVID-19, and issues around personal safety and well-being. RSVP by May 5 or join the livestream on Facebook.
A closer look | CPJ’s most-read features in April
- Mission Journal: ‘Trench warfare’ in Polish press as government eyes next election cycle — Attila Mong/CPJ Europe Correspondent
- Proposed Venezuelan foreign funding law could have ‘huge impact’ on independent outlets — John Otis/CPJ Andes Correspondent
- Digital media rules empower Indian government to censor online news — Aliya Iftikhar/CPJ Senior Asia Researcher
- Indian journalist Sandhya Ravishankar describes ‘conflict zone for female journalists’ ahead of Tamil Nadu elections — Kunal Majumder/CPJ India Correspondent
What we are reading
- The Myanmar Junta’s Assault on the Truth: Crackdown on Media Aimed at Hiding Security Force Abuses — Linda Lakhdhir, Human Rights Watch
- As journalists come under fire, Myanmar’s underground media grows — Kiana Duncan, The Southeast Asia Globe
- Kenya’s satire is under threat — Patrick Gathara, Al Jazeera
- Defamation liability: Razing media outlets to the ground? — Mugambi Kiai, Winfred Gakii, and Sigi Waigumo, The Star
- How Twitter became a battlefield to shape Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict narrative — Tessa Knight, DFRLab, The Daily Maverick
- Safe. Strong. Viable. – The symbiosis between Media Viability and Media Safety — DW Akademie
- Asian American women journalists on the frontline of hate and negligence — The Coalition For Women In Journalism
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