Protestors holding signs
Activists condemn violence and attempts to kidnap Pakistani journalists, in Karachi, Pakistan, on January 12, 2018. (AP/Fareed Khan)

The high cost paid by journalists in exile

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.

Journalists forced to flee their countries face many challenges, including physical attacks and threats to family members they left behind. In some cases, they are pushed out of their professions completely. In a new feature released ahead of World Refugee Day, CPJ examines the risks facing journalists in exile, with recommendations on how nations, the UN, and media organizations can assist journalists seeking emergency relocation.

A new report on the 2007 murder of Pakistani journalist Zubair Mujahid, from CPJ and other leading press freedom organizations as a part of A Safer World for the Truth initiative, finds significant errors in the official police investigation. The groups joined in a call for an independent re-investigation of the case to bring the killers to justice.

Global press freedom updates

  • Indian journalist Sulabh Srivastava dies one day after filing complaint over threats. Separately, CPJ calls on Indian authorities to release journalist Siddique Kappan, drop all charges. In a separate case, Indian police open criminal investigation into The Wire and three journalists
  • German law increases government surveillance and hacking powers, removes protection for journalists
  • Authoritarian governments force journalists like Belarus’s Raman Pratasevich into public confessions
  • CPJ calls on Biden administration to create protections to prevent subpoenas of reporters’ records
  • Police detain two journalists who covered art performance in Moscow’s Red Square. Separately, unidentified men attack Russian RFE/RL correspondent Andrey Afanasyev
  • Journalist Nidal Ikhbaria survives shooting attempt at home in Arab Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm
  • CPJ calls on Tanzania president to reform press laws
  • Turkish journalist Ahmet Atmaca beaten in Gaziantep
  • Former Mexican mayor convicted for role in murder of reporter Miroslava Breach
  • Kazakh newspaper Aq Zhayiq and editor Azamat Maitanov receive death threats
  • Algerian authorities revoke accreditation of France 24
  • Brazilian Supreme Court rules in favor of photojournalist Alex Silveira, injured by police while covering protest in 2000
  • Slovak Supreme Court cancels acquittal of primary suspects in journalist Ján Kuciak’s murder
  • CPJ welcomes release of American editor Nathan Maung in Myanmar
  • European soccer association UEFA denies accreditations to at least six journalists, citing failed background checks by Russia and Azerbaijan


(Photo credits, from left: BelaPan/Tatyana Korovenkova; Anastasia Mejía; Canal de Moçambique; Democratic Voice of Burma)

CPJ is delighted to announce our four 2021 International Press Freedom Award winners. These brave journalists have experienced threats from ranging from imprisonment, harassment, and physical attacks, all while getting news to their communities.

The group includes Katsiaryna Barysevich, staff correspondent for Belarusian news outlet; Xolabaj Radio and Xolabaj TV journalist Anastasia Mejía, who covers local news in central Guatemala, particularly topics of concern to Indigenous women; Matías Guente, executive editor of the Mozambican investigative newspaper Canal de Moçambique, and its daily digital publication CanalMoz; and Aye Chan Naing, co-founder, chief editor, and executive director of the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), an independent media group in Myanmar. Learn more at

CPJ is honored to be the 2021 recipient of the John Peter and Anna Catherine Zenger Award for Press Freedom from the University of Arizona School of Journalism. Given by the school since 1954, the award honors journalists or organizations that fight for freedom of the press and the people’s right to know. CPJ will formally accept the award on October 1.

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