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CPJ has announced the four extraordinary journalists who will receive our 2023 International Press Freedom Awards:
- Ferdinand Ayité, director of the Togolese investigative outlet L’Alternative. A staunch defender of human rights, Ayité is one of the most targeted journalists in Togo in recent years—facing persistent legal harassment and threats that have forced him into exile.
- Shahina K.K., senior editor for the Indian magazine Outlook. After reporting that police allegedly fabricated witness statements in connection to bombings in Bengaluru in 2008, Shahina was one of the first journalists in India to be charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a draconian anti-terror law weaponized against journalists in the country.
- Nika Gvaramia, founder of the Georgian broadcaster Mtavari Arkhi (Main Channel). He is the only journalist in Georgia to receive a prison sentence in retaliation for their work since CPJ started keeping record of jailed journalists in 1992. He received a pardon on June 22.
- María Teresa Montaño, founder and editor of the Mexican outlet The Observer. She investigates corruption, abuse of power, and wasteful spending in the State of Mexico. In 2021, she was abducted and robbed at gunpoint, demonstrating the brutal violence that reporters face in the country.
“Attacks on the press are rising, yet journalists continue to step up and report on the vital issues that empower us all,” said CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg. “It is our honor to recognize this year’s awardees: formidable reporters working tirelessly to expose corruption, abuse, and wrongdoing despite considerable efforts to silence them.”
Global press freedom updates
- CPJ joins statement calling for EU to prioritize media freedom and human rights in relations with Turkey; Turkish journalist Merdan Yanardağ arrested over political commentary; and journalist Sedef Kabaş facing new trial for “insulting” President Erdoğan
- Gambian party security guards attack three journalists for filming politician
- Liberian journalist Winston Blyden attacked by politician’s bodyguards
- Senegalese authorities release two journalists; reporter Maty Sarr Niang remains in detention
- Mozambican journalist Leonardo Gimo investigated for criminal defamation over report on alleged police corruption
- CPJ calls for further investigation after Nigerian court finds police killed journalist Alex Ogbu
- Russian authorities request 19-year prison term for journalist Abdulmumin Gadzhiev; independent outlet Novaya Gazeta Europe banned, added to “undesirable” list
- Protesters throw stones at five TV crews covering protests in northern Kosovo
- Ecuadorian journalist run off road, threatened with death after critical reporting
- Haitian television station owner disappears days after brief abduction of his journalist wife
- Two French journalists flee Yemeni island of Socotra after questioning, house arrest
- CPJ calls on Philippine authorities to arrest suspects in killing of journalist Percival Mabasa
In Ecuador, political turmoil and a deepening security crisis are putting reporters and press freedom at increasing risk. A new special report by Carlos Lauría documents journalist killings in Ecuador, and how rising crime and fear of physical retribution has fostered self-censorship.
President Guillermo Lasso, who dissolved the country’s National Assembly in May as it took steps to impeach him, has proved ineffective at stemming the rise in violent crime and journalists are watching uneasily as the party of the most anti-press politician in recent memory, former President Rafael Correa, seeks to increase its power in upcoming August elections.
“Ahead of Ecuador’s upcoming elections, it is essential to the integrity of the country’s democracy that local journalists can report the news without fear of reprisal to ensure Ecuadorians are informed and have access to reporting that holds power to account,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna.
A CPJ delegation launched the report at a press conference in Quito on June 28, alongside press freedom group Fundamedios. In April, CPJ met with Ecuadorian officials, where they committed to improve journalist safety.
🎙️Watch CPJ’s press conference on the report in Quito — in Spanish
What we are reading
- Ukraine blocks journalists from front lines with escalating censorship — Alice Speri, The Intercept
- Tunisia: Crackdown on media freedoms — Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Space for freedom: Riga gathering examines exile journalism experience — Marianne Hodash, Deutsche Welle
A closer look | CPJ’s most-read features in June
- CPJ’s support to exiled journalists jumped 227% in 3 years, reflecting global press freedom crisis — Lucy Westcott, CPJ’s Emergencies Director
- The lingering legacy of China’s COVID-19 censorship — Rob Mahoney, CPJ’s Director of Special Projects
So far in 2023…
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