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.
While this newsletter usually spotlights cases of journalists under attack globally, we wanted to take this week, ahead of the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving, to reflect on what we have been grateful for this past year. Journalists have inspired us continuously throughout 2022, governments have taken steps to protect press freedom, and justice has finally been achieved after years of waiting.
In October, five years after her murder, a Maltese court sentenced two hitmen for the assassination of Malta’s leading investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia. CPJ’s Tom Gibson was present at the proceedings to hear the unprecedented guilty pleas and subsequent sentencing. Further legal proceedings are pending against the alleged mastermind, Yorgen Fenech, and two men who allegedly supplied the bomb.
Separately, earlier this month, the trial of the five men accused of killing journalist Valério Luiz de Oliveira took place, and four were convicted, including the mastermind. After 10 years, several delays, and desperate maneuvers by the defense attorneys, those responsible finally faced justice.
In October, three journalists detained in Rwanda since October 2018—Damascene Mutuyimana, Shadrack Niyonsenga, and Jean Baptiste Nshimiyimana—were released after a court recognized the charges against them as baseless. CPJ was greatly relieved by their release and called for authorities to release all journalists who remain behind bars in Rwanda for their work without delay.
New U.S. Justice Department guidelines protect journalists’ sources
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland revised Justice Department regulations in October to restrict federal prosecutors’ ability to subpoena journalists’ source material in government leak investigations with narrow exceptions. CPJ and partner organizations have long advocated for this change, which the Justice Department has now committed to.
Annually, Thomson Reuters Foundation recognizes pro bono work undertaken to address pressing social and environmental challenges globally. In 2022, CPJ was recognized with its TrustLaw Impact Award for our September 2020 “Know Your Rights” guide for journalists covering protests.
CPJ is endlessly thankful for the support of donors, and supporters like you who have stood by CPJ as dangers for journalists have escalated in 2022. If you have not yet supported our mission this year, we hope you’ll lend us a hand to defend press freedom.
We are grateful for CPJ’s new and long-time partners, who are an essential part of our efforts to ensure the continued safety of journalists worldwide amid numerous ongoing crises, including those in Ukraine, Myanmar, Ethiopia, and Iran.
Global press freedom updates
- US FBI-led investigation of Shireen Abu Akleh’s killing a welcome first step
- CPJ condemns Biden administration decision that Saudi crown prince has immunity in US Khashoggi lawsuit
- Committee to Protect Journalists honors reporters who defy war and repression
- CPJ calls on North Carolina prosecutors to drop charges against Asheville Blade reporters
- Myanmar releases journalists Toru Kubota and Than Htike Aung, but dozens remain behind bars
- CPJ calls on Turkish authorities to investigate airstrikes that killed Hawar News Agency reporter
- Muvi TV journalists arrested, fined after filming Zambian police raid on politician’s home
- Headquarters of news website Rondoniaovivo shot multiple times in northern Brazil
- Egyptian authorities arrest journalist Ahmed Fayez for reporting on Alaa Abdelfattah
CPJ is grateful for the perseverance of courageous journalists and recently paid tribute to inspirational journalists from Cuba, Iraqi Kurdistan, Ukraine, and Vietnam by presenting them with our 2022 International Press Freedom Awards. CPJ’s board of directors also honored Russian editor and publisher Galina Timchenko with the 2022 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award.
In her speech, Ukrainian journalist and 2022 IPFA awardee Sevgil Musaieva shared a memory from her diary of bringing clothes to the morgue for her colleague Brent Renaud, declaring, “Truth survives when there is someone to fight for it.”
Did you miss the live stream? You can watch the entire event on YouTube and learn more about our awardees on CPJ’s website. You can find additional illustrations on CPJ’s Instagram, and click this link to tweet in support of IPFA awardee Pham Doan Trang.
What we are reading
- My favorite tools: How Rafael Soares investigates police killings in Rio — Laura Dixon, Global Investigative Journalism Network
- We have always had to fight: African artists on human rights and artistic freedom — Margaret Aduto, Charles Chimedza, Jessica Sun, Julie Trébault, and Juliette Verlaque, Artists at Risk Connection
- Maguindanao massacre: The wound of PH impunity that will never heal — Kurt Dela Peña, Inquirer
- How to stand up to a dictator by Maria Ressa review – facing down despots — Helena Kennedy, The Guardian
- The US must fight for press freedom: even against its closest allies — Robert Mahoney, The Hill
[Editor’s note: This newsletter has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Robert Mahoney’s name.]
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