Vera Jourova, vice president and commissioner for Values and Transparency at the European Commission, makes a statement after receiving an EU directive against SLAPPs on February 1, 2022, at the EU headquarters in Brussels. (AFP/John Thys)

#NotATarget: Ahead of World Press Freedom Day, CPJ renews call for protection of journalists in Ukraine

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.

On Wednesday, CPJ welcomed the European Commission’s “decisive” move to pass an initiative addressing the abuse of SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public participation). CPJ has long advocated for the EU to address SLAPPs, which are abusive lawsuits filed by powerful officials, businesspeople, or corporations against individuals, including critical journalists or news outlets, to restrict or censor critical reporting.

As World Press Freedom Day nears on May 3, CPJ renews its call for the protection of journalists in Ukraine. Journalists and media workers are civilians under international humanitarian law, and should never be targeted during wartime. Join us in calling for protection of journalists covering the war using the hashtag #NotATarget

Check out CPJ’s Russia-Ukraine Watch, updated weekly on Thursdays here, and sign up to receive a daily digest of our coverage of the war and press freedom here.

Global press freedom updates 

  • Russia charges journalists with disseminating ‘fakes’ about the military; reporter Maria Ponomarenko detained
  • CPJ welcomes Egypt’s release of three journalists, says others must also be freed
  • CPJ calls on Mali to reverse ‘definitive’ suspension of RFI, France 24 
  • ‘When you stop writing, they win’: Exiled after attacks, Lebanese journalist Mariam Seif Eddine is still reporting
  • ‘A never-ending nightmare’: A son’s decade-long fight for justice for murdered Brazilian sports journalist Valério Luiz de Oliveira
  • Iraqi Kurdish journalist Omed Baroshky: Press freedom ‘an illusion’ in the region
  • As World Cup nears, Qatar and FIFA face fresh scrutiny on press freedom commitments
  • CPJ joins call for Greek authorities to investigate surveillance of journalist Thanasis Koukakis
  • Congolese journalist Sébastien Mulamba charged with weapons possession, criminal association, armed robbery after critical radio commentary
  • Serbian broadcaster N1TV and newspaper Danas receive death threats
  • Slovenian reporter Matej Kavčič arrested by Iraqi military
  • Protesters repeatedly surround home of Peruvian journalist Ketty Vela, throw rocks and shout insults over coverage
  • Council of Europe publishes annual report on press freedom
  • Media coalition condemns L.A. County sheriff’s threat to investigate Los Angeles Times reporter


On World Press Freedom Day, May 3, join CPJ at 10 a.m. EDT for a panel discussion, “Truth, Lies & War,” about the need for factual, independent reporting during conflict and the critical task of protecting journalists as civilians under international law. RSVP here

Later that day, at 1:30 p.m., tune to our Twitter account @pressfreedom, as CPJ Emergencies Director Lucy Westcott moderates a panel discussion about the challenges facing journalists covering the Russia-Ukraine war.

This week, CPJ Mexico Representative Jan-Albert Hootsen gave opening remarks at the People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists, an initiative by A Safer World for the Truth Coalition, of which CPJ is a member. Witnesses provided testimony about the 2011 killing of Mexican reporter Miguel Ángel López Velasco, which was never solved. A provisional verdict will be issued next month in the Hague.

What we are reading (and watching)

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

Explore our database of attacks on the press.

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