Attacks on journalists covering Russian invasion of Ukraine continue

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.

More than one month since Russia invaded Ukraine, journalists continue to face grave risks while covering the war. This week, reporters have been shot, injured, and detained, and others remain missing.

In Russia, authorities have detained and harassed journalists for their reporting, and the Novaya Gazeta newspaper one of the last bastions of Russia’s free press – shut down after receiving a warning from the country’s media regulator.

“The problem with laws in Russia is that it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to predict how they will be applied,” Igor Yasin, co-chair of the country’s Journalists’ and Media Workers’ Union, told CPJ while discussing new legislation punishing the dissemination of “fake” information on the war. “It is impossible to speak about the future with any clarity.”

CPJ continues to focus on helping enhance the safety of those covering the conflict and documenting press freedom violations on the ground. Explore our interactive map to learn more about those who have tragically died covering the conflict.

Global press freedom updates

  • CPJ condemns ‘unjustified’ block on journalist Rana Ayyub leaving India
  • Taliban detain and release at least seven journalists and media workers; ban broadcasts from the BBC, VOA, and DW
  • Myanmar Herald journalist Ye Yint Tun sentenced to two years in prison. Separately, a military court also sentenced journalists Hanthar Nyein and Than Htike Aung to two years each in prison
  • Pakistani journalist Zahid Shareef Rana attacked in Punjab province
  • Political reporter Altan Sancar threatened at gunpoint in Turkey
  • Nicaraguan publisher Juan Lorenzo Holmann convicted on money laundering charges
  • Israeli journalists call for spyware exemption after Israel denies illegal Pegasus use
  • Serbian journalist Miljko Stojanovic threatened over interview with Ukrainian refugee
  • British journalist Martin Banks detained and questioned by U.K. border police, equipment confiscated
  • CPJ spoke to Pakistani refugee reporter Mohsin Abbas, who saved a local Canadian newspaper


Filipino American journalist and Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa testified to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday about freedom of expression in Asia. Ressa is facing threats in the Philippines as state-orchestrated attacks escalate against her and Rappler, the news organization she founded.

“I could go to jail for the rest of life because I refuse to stop doing my job as a journalist,” Ressa told the Senate subcommittee. Watch the full testimony here.

In 2018, Ressa received CPJ’s Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award in recognition of her sustained and committed work as a champion of press freedom. CPJ has also been a leader of the #HoldTheLine coalition, alongside the International Center for Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, to help support Ressa and defend independent journalism in the Philippines.

What we are reading

A closer look | CPJ’s most-read features in March

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