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.
This Saturday, October 2, will mark the three-year anniversary of the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. CPJ continues to call for #JusticeForJamal and seek answers in his case. In 2019, CPJ joined a lawsuit urging a U.S. district court to order the intelligence community to confirm or deny the existence of documents on its duty to warn Khashoggi of threats to his life or explain their refusal to do so. But in August, an appeals court ruled that the intelligence agencies were not required to disclose whether they knew of threats to Khashoggi ahead of his murder. We continue to believe the public deserves the truth in this case.
As the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, CPJ has helped Afghan journalists evacuate from Kabul. For many, Doha, Qatar, was the first stop on their way to new homes. Lucy Westcott, CPJ’s Emergencies research associate, travelled to Doha to assist them. Read about her experience here. In addition this week, CPJ also called on EU states to prioritize safe passage for fleeing Afghan journalists.
Global press freedom updates
- Gunmen forcibly enter office of Salam Watandar broadcaster in Afghanistan
- Colombian journalist Marcos Efraín Montalvo shot and killed
- Russia labels Mediazona, OVD-Info, and 2 journalists as ‘foreign agents’
- São Paulo police arrest Brazilian sports blogger Paulo Cezar de Andrade Prado in defamation case
- Syrian journalists fear for their lives despite the end of the siege of Daraa al-Balad
- CPJ joins call for European Parliament to strengthen Digital Services Act
- Congolese authorities detain AFP correspondent Pierre Sosthène Kambidi without charge
- Iraqi Kurdish court extends journalist Omed Baroshky’s prison sentence by one year
- Bangladesh authorities order banks to disclose information on 12 journalists’ accounts. CPJ sent a letter this week to Bangladesh authorities over harassment of one of those journalists, Rozina Islam
- CPJ calls on US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to advocate for press freedom in meetings with Saudi Arabia and UAE
This week, A Safer World For the Truth, a joint initiative of CPJ, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and Free Press Unlimited, announced the establishment of a People’s Tribunal to investigate the murders of journalists, and hold governments accountable. The Tribunal, a form of grassroots justice, relies on investigations and high-quality legal analysis involving specific cases in Mexico, Sri Lanka, and Syria.
An opening hearing will be held on November 2 in The Hague. The event will also include testimony from colleagues and family of journalists murdered for their work, as well as a keynote address from Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws QC, member of the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom.
More information on the event and how to RSVP to attend in-person or remotely can be found here.
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. CPJ will formally accept the award on October 1. Join us at the gala luncheon, which can also be viewed via livestream.
- The Fall 2021 Issue: The Politics Issue – Columbia Journalism Review
- New Taliban Guidelines Stir Fear About the Future of Press Freedom — Carlotta Gall, The New York Times
- Big Brother-style internet controls expand in Central Asia — Paul Bartlett, Nikkei Asia
- ‘Death knell’: Afghan journalists fear new Taliban media rules — Ali Latifi, Al-Jazeera
A closer look | CPJ’s most-read features in September
- ‘Be patient and prevent despair’: An exiled Syrian journalist’s advice for fleeing Afghan reporters — Ignacio Miguel Delgado Culebras/CPJ Middle East and North Africa Representative
- As staff flee, TOLO News vows to keep broadcasting from Afghanistan – for now — Steven Butler/CPJ Asia Program Coordinator
- ‘There is no private life’: Three Togolese journalists react to being selected for spyware surveillance — Jonathan Rozen/CPJ Senior Africa Researcher
- Egyptian journalist Hossam Bahgat is set to go on trial for a tweet — CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Staff
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