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.
August 30 marked the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances, with CPJ documenting at least 65 journalists missing globally. Official indifference and failure to investigate these disappearances cast a chill on other reporters and devastate the journalists’ families, who are often left in the dark with little to no support.
➡️ Mexican journalist Jorge Molontzín Centlal vanished in 2021 in Mexico, the country with the highest number of missing journalists globally—16.
➡️ Nearly one in four documented missing journalists disappeared in Iraq and Syria between 2012 and 2014. Some have been missing longer: Isam al-Shumari, an Iraqi camera operator for Sudost Media, went missing in Fallujah, Iraq, on August 15, 2004. It was the same day his friend and colleague, camera operator Mahmoud Abbas, was killed while on assignment for German station ZDF.
➡️ Journalist Azory Gwanda went missing in Tanzania in November 2017. Nearly six years after his disappearance, Tanzania’s government has failed to account for his whereabouts.
We continue to fight and advocate for all missing journalists globally—they are missing but not forgotten. CPJ calls on governments to provide accountability and investigations into their disappearances.
💡 Learn more about the journalists missing globally on our website.
📣 Share their #MissingNotForgotten stories on social media.
Global press freedom updates
- Russian court extends detention of U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich by 3 months
- Journalist Arsen Chepurnyi injured in Russian missile strike in Ukraine
- Algerian journalist Mustapha Bendjama sentenced to 2 years in prison
- Driver killed, journalist severely injured by suspected Turkish drone strike in Syria
- Journalist Islam Kashani arrested in Iraqi Kurdistan
- CPJ calls on military in Gabon to ensure press freedom and journalists’ safety following coup
- CPJ joins call to protect journalists in Niger 1 month after coup; Gabon authorities expel Cameroonian journalist Sainclair Mezing, suspend 3 French broadcasters, block internet during elections
- CPJ joins renewed call for release of Burundi journalist Floriane Irangabiye after 1 year in prison
- CPJ, partners call on Bangladesh to dismiss Digital Security Act cases over freedom of expression
- CPJ urges India to review ‘dangerous’ legislation that threatens press freedom
This week, CPJ called on Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu to improve press freedom as he marked three months in office.
Tinubu must “ensure justice is delivered for attacks on the press and…reform legislation and regulations to prevent the jailing and surveillance of journalists. We also urge you to ensure undisrupted access to the internet, online platforms, and news websites,” CPJ wrote in a letter to the president.
⚡️Join us at an in-person event:
On September 26, the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University are hosting an event on press freedom and policing at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice in New York.
The event will feature a reception, a short documentary film screening of “Flashpoint: Protests, Policing, and the Press,” and a panel discussion on the Knight Institute’s recent report, Covering Democracy: Protests, Police and the Press.
CPJ, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, PEN America, and Freedom of the Press Foundation are co-sponsors.
- India has killed off the remains of Kashmir’s free press — Suchitra Vijayan, The Nation
- Five main trends in post-invasion Russian journalism — Veronica Snoj, The Fix
- The foundations of press freedom in Africa — International Press Institute
- How Russia’s justice system stalls movement in Evan Gershkovich case — Ann M. Simmons, Matthew Luxmoore, and Louise Radnofsky, The Wall Street Journal
- Female Afghan journalists describe life under Taliban misogyny — Akmal Dawi, Voice of America
CPJ’s most-read features in August
- Violence against Netherlands’ journalists dims a beacon of press freedom — Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, and Attila Mong, CPJ’s Europe representative
- Covering Ukraine: When a Russian missile brought death to a popular pizza restaurant — Anna Brakha, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia researcher
- Defiant Marion County Record hits newsstands following police raid — Katherine Jacobsen, CPJ’s U.S. and Canada program coordinator
- ‘This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated’: Police raid on Kansas newspaper alarms media, press freedom groups — Katherine Jacobsen, CPJ’s U.S. and Canada program coordinator
- Two years into Taliban rule, media repression worsens in Afghanistan — Beh Lih Yi, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, and Waliullah Rahmani, CPJ’s Asia researcher
- Peru’s Manuel Calloquispe faces threats and assaults to expose environmental damage from illegal Amazon mining — John Otis, CPJ’s Colombia-based consultant
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