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.
Tonight, the Committee to Protect Journalists will honor five remarkable journalists from around the world at CPJ’s 2022 International Press Freedom Awards dinner.
This year’s awardees include Cuban freelance journalist Abraham Jiménez Enoa who was strip-searched and handcuffed, interrogated for five hours, and both he and his family threatened over his writings in October 2020. Cuban authorities’ threats of legal repercussions if he continued to publish, persistent harassment, and censorship forced Jiménez to flee to Spain in 2021, where he is currently living in exile.
In Iraqi Kurdistan, freelance journalist Niyaz Abdullah faces legal harassment by security forces and local authorities, and she was detained and threatened with violence over her work. In 2021, she fled to France to escape threats against her.
In Ukraine, despite the dangers of war, death threats, and Russia’s declared ban on her publication, Ukrainska Pravda’s Editor-in-Chief Sevgil Musaieva has worked relentlessly since the invasion to ensure the safety of her staff and to inform the public.
And in Vietnam, human rights reporter Pham Doan Trang, who also founded the independent legal magazine Luat Khoa, is serving a nine-year sentence after a one-day trial on charges of making or spreading news against the state. CPJ launched a petition for Trang, calling on Vietnamese leadership to release her. Please, join us and click here to tweet your support for imprisoned journalist Pham Doan Trang.
CPJ will also honor Russian journalist Galina Timchenko, editor of the independent news website Meduza, which she founded in 2014 after fleeing to Latvia. Timchenko will receive CPJ’s Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award, named after the veteran journalist and former CPJ board member who died in late 2016, which is presented annually to an individual who has shown extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom.
Global press freedom updates
- Ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will kick off in Qatar on Sunday, CPJ released a safety advisory for journalists covering the event. (Also available in Français, العربية, Español)
- CPJ encouraged by reports that the FBI is finally going to investigate the senseless killing of #ShireenAbuAkleh
- Haitian journalist Romelson Vilcin killed during demonstration at police station. Six journalists have been killed in the country so far this year
- Egyptian authorities arrest journalist Ahmed Fayez for reporting on Alaa Abdelfattah
- Authorities charge Senegalese journalist Pape Alé Niang with harming national defense over report on leaked document
- Armed men beat 2 Afghan journalists, leaving 1 unconscious
On Tuesday, two of CPJ’s 2022 IPFA awardees—Ukrainian journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Ukrainska Pravda Sevgil Musaieva and freelance Cuban journalist Abraham Jiménez Enoa—met with USAID Administrator Samantha Power alongside CPJ representatives. During the meeting, Jiménez explained that the number of journalists fleeing Cuba has left little capacity for reporting in the country; Musaieva spoke about reporting amidst the Russia-Ukraine war.
Separately on Tuesday, CPJ joined a letter calling for Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee “to cease targeted persecution against Jimmy Lai, the 74-year-old founder of Next Digital Limited and the Apple Daily newspaper, release him from jail, and immediately drop all charges against him.” The letter was emailed to Lee ahead of Lai’s December 1 trial without a jury on collusion charges under the national security law.
Lai, one of Hong Kong’s best-known media figures, has been held behind bars for 22 months, exceeding the 20-month term he was previously given. His international legal team at Doughty Street Chambers has faced intimidation and harassment.
This week, CPJ released its 2022 Annual Report, highlighting our research, advocacy, and impact as we continue to defend press freedom worldwide. This year has been challenging for journalists, and we’re thankful for your help in standing with them. Read the full report here and subscribe to CPJ’s Insider email list here to stay updated.
- Vietnam using jail to ‘silence’ human rights journalist, lawyer says — Mina Allen, Voice of America
- FBI opens investigation into killing of Palestinian American Shireen Abu Akleh — Barak Ravid, Axios
- After a perilous journey, migrants try to make it in New York City — Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, The New York Times
- Plight of Egyptian dissident Alaa Abdel Fattah overshadows COP27 — Heba Saleh, Financial Times (Paywall)
- Social media restricted in Turkey after blast in Taksim, Istanbul — NetBlocks
- The state of media freedom and safety of journalists in Africa — Paul Kimumwe, Victor Kapiyo, Simone Toussi, Dr. Wairagala Wakabi, Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa
- New report details gaps in multilateral use of Magnitsky sanctions — Human Rights First
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.