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 Thursday, 24 U.S. senators sent a letter to President Biden calling on his administration to protect press freedom and ensure direct U.S. involvement in the investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. “We believe that, as a leader in the effort to protect the freedom of the press and the safety of journalists, and given the fact that Ms. Abu Akleh was an American citizen, the U.S. government has an obligation to ensure that a comprehensive, impartial, and open investigation into her shooting death is conducted — one in which all parties can have full confidence in the ultimate findings,” the letter said.
Last month, 57 members of the U.S. House of Representatives requested that the State Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launch an independent investigation into Abu Akleh’s death.
In the weeks after the killing, eye-witness accounts and in-depth reports by The Associated Press, CNN, and investigative outlet Bellingcat suggested that the Israeli military fired the shot that took Abu Akleh’s life.
Global press freedom updates
- Journalist Saber al-Haidari killed in Yemen car bombing
- British Home Secretary approves Assange extradition to the United States
- Russian draft legislation threatens to further silence independent media
- Taliban members beat journalist at Kabul checkpoint, detain 2 others
- Chinese reporter Zhang Weihan recounts police harassment, detention in Tangshan
- Bosnian journalist Nataša Miljanović-Zubac’s car destroyed, authorities investigate on suspicion of arson
- 15 journalists, media worker jailed under pre-trial arrest in Turkey
- Tajikistan authorities arrest 2 journalists over critical reporting
- Indian police investigate 2 journalists following critical social media posts
- M23 rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo loot radio station; reporter Austère Mavilika receives threats
- Commonwealth Secretariat denies entry to at least 2 journalists seeking to cover summit in Rwanda; others left in limbo
- Bulgarian TV crew attacked with stones while investigating pollution at Serbian mine
- Russian journalist Insa Lander stranded at Georgia border after fleeing house arrest
- Iraqi Kurdish security forces prevent media outlets from covering drone strike in Erbil, detain journalist
- Two journalists detained, 1 beaten at Uzbekistan soccer stadium
- CPJ joins letter calling on Kenya to ensure internet access is maintained throughout election
Current and former CPJ staff members attend the ‘Endangered’ premiere in New York City on June 12, 2022.
CPJ collaborated with journalist and executive producer Ronan Farrow and directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing on the documentary film “Endangered,” which premiered earlier this month at Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The film tells the story of journalists at the forefront of a dangerous culture war over free speech. The film will be available for streaming on HBO Max starting June 28.
We need your input! CPJ and the Global Reporting Center at the University of British Columbia are collaborating on a survey on disinformation and harassment targeting journalists. The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, and all your responses will be anonymous by default. Take the survey here.
What we are reading
- Biden must not betray defenders of democracy in Saudi Arabia – Abdullah Alaoudh, The Washington Post
- RSF investigation into the death of Maks Levin: “Information and evidence collected indicates this Ukrainian journalist was executed.” – Reporters Without Borders
- Brazil’s Elections are a second chance for Big Tech: They are expected to have the same concerns here as they did with the US election — Patricia Campos Mello, translated from the Portuguese by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism
- From ‘pariah’ to ‘move past it’: How Biden set aside press freedom – Karen Attiah, The Washington Post
Do you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled device? Enable CPJ's flash briefing skill to stay up to date with the latest press freedom news from around the world.