Pakistani journalists Javeria Siddique and Arshad Sharif were married for 11 years before Sharif was killed in Kenya on October 23, 2022. (Photo: Javeria Siddique)

‘I am dying every day:’ Wife of killed Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif calls for justice

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Six months after Kenyan authorities said Kenyan police shot dead prominent Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif, his wife Javiera Siddique spoke to CPJ about the lack of justice for her husband, the online smear campaign against her, and her hopes for how the international community can help.

Sharif was killed outside Nairobi on October 23, 2022, after fleeing Pakistan while under investigation for his journalistic work. A Pakistan government fact-finding team found in December that Kenya’s portrayal of his killing as a case of mistaken identity was “full of contradictions” and that the involvement of “characters in Kenya, Dubai, and Pakistan in this assassination cannot be ruled out.”

“This was a targeted killing,” said Siddique, a freelance journalist and photographer who was married to Sharif for 11 years. “Our government is not serious about getting justice for Sharif because he was their worst critic.”

Read the full interview here.

Separately, CPJ is participating in several events at the International Journalism Festival, hosted in Perugia, Italy, from April 20 to 23. Recordings of panel discussions that took place on the first day of the festival are available online, and there are additional events in the coming days:

You can find the full list of events at the International Journalism Festival featuring CPJ in last week’s Torch.

Global press freedom updates

  • CPJ welcomes conviction in 1988 murder of Peruvian journalist Hugo Bustíos
  • Turkey charges 17 Kurdish journalists, media worker with membership in a terrorist organization; a court finds two journalists guilty on terror charges; CPJ joins statement calling for Turkey’s media watchdog to stop punishing broadcasters over critical reporting
  • CPJ, rights groups call on Georgia president to release journalist Nika Gvaramia; parliament suspends accreditation of six pro-opposition journalists
  • Russian authorities charge journalist Roman Ivanov with “fake news,” raid office
  • Journalist Saeed Seif-Ali rearrested in Iran
  • Nigerian police officer attacks journalist Benedict Uwalaka over protest coverage; journalists Gidado Yushau and Alfred Olufemi convicted of conspiracy, defamation
  • Zambian ruling party supporters attack three journalists
  • DRC authorities detain two journalists, threaten another with arrest
  • At least eight journalists detained amid renewed unrest in Ethiopia
  • Journalist Duong Van Thai arrested in Vietnam after disappearing in Thailand; Vietnam sentences journalist Nguyen Lan Thang to six years in prison
  • Taliban bans Washington Post journalist Susannah George from returning to Afghanistan


 CPJ and Fundamedios meet with Ecuador Attorney General Diana Salazar on April 18, 2023.

CPJ on Thursday welcomed Ecuador’s pledge to strengthen press freedom commitments following a meeting between government officials and CPJ representatives.

The CPJ delegation traveled to Quito to discuss the deteriorating press freedom conditions and the impact of the public safety crisis on journalists throughout the country, as documented by CPJ and Fundamedios.

The government’s secretary of the administration, Sebastián Corral, agreed during the meeting to deliver critical funds to the existing mechanism to protect journalists, as well as additional funding to support the attorney general, and new efforts to combat misinformation.

Read the full press release here.

CPJ will release “Fragile Progress,” a report on the current state of press freedom in the European Union, on April 25. The report provides a snapshot and analysis of the challenges confronting EU institutions in meeting their commitments to press freedom. It also includes CPJ’s recommendations to the EU and its 27 member states for safeguarding media freedom as the 2024 European elections approach—a critical juncture for the defense of democracy.

Report co-authors Jean-Paul Marthoz and Tom Gibson will present the report findings at a launch event in Brussels on Wednesday, April 26—you can register here to attend the session remotely on Zoom.

On April 18, CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said gave an online guest lecture at the Kharkiv National University in Ukraine. Said spoke about the state of press freedom in Russia, the impact of Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ukraine on the media community, and CPJ’s coverage of the war and assistance to journalists. Watch the lecture here.

What we are reading (and listening to)

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