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.
The Israel-Gaza conflict continues to exact a devastating toll on civilians—including journalists. More than 4,000 people have died on both sides since October 7, including hundreds killed in the October 17 hospital blast in Gaza, and the conflict has widened to neighboring Lebanon.
As of October 19, CPJ has documented at least 21 journalists killed in the conflict, most of them Palestinian. We are investigating numerous unconfirmed reports of other journalists being killed, missing, detained, hurt, or threatened, and of damage to media offices and journalists’ homes; as well as Israeli officials’ threats to censor media coverage of the conflict.
Journalists in Gaza face particularly high risks as they try to report in the face of Israeli airstrikes and military maneuvers, disrupted communications, and extensive power outages.
🗯️ On Wednesday, CPJ joined over 200 organizations in calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to prevent further harm to civilians.
During any conflict, journalists and media workers are civilians under international humanitarian law. Facilities and equipment utilized for reporting and disseminating news are also civilian structures.
- BBC News: “Journalists are civilians. They are not targets, and we need them to be the eyes and ears for…this war.” — CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg
- The Washington Post: Israel’s history of targeting media exacerbated the current reporting crisis in Gaza, leaving local photo and freelance journalists to cover the conflict. — CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour
- Al Jazeera: “We are seeing at the moment one of the deadliest periods ever for journalists reporting on this region.” — CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg
- VOA Africa News Tonight: “It is very, very important that journalists continue to report because of the level of misinformation about the conflict.” — CPJ Advocacy and Communications Director Gypsy Guillén Kaiser
🗓️ Mark your calendar: On October 31, CPJ will publish its 2023 Global Impunity Index, an annual list and report on countries where perpetrators of journalist murders continue to evade justice.
- Russian authorities detain RFE/RL journalist Alsu Kurmasheva
- CPJ joins calls for Turkey to ensure safety of threatened journalist Alican Uludağ
- Morocco denies jailed journalist Omar Radi post-surgical care in hospital
- CPJ joins calls for Saudi Arabia not to host 2024 Internet Governance Forum
- CPJ calls for an investigation into killing of Sudanese journalist Halima Idris Salim
- Somali court dismisses false news, anti-state case against Mohamed Ibrahim Osman Bulbul
- CPJ calls for the release of DRC journalist, U.S. resident Stanis Bujakera
- Congo reporter Anicet Moleka faces arrest for criminal defamation, radio station banned
- Namibia’s New Era newspaper suspends managing editor after editorial criticizes judiciary
- Nigerien journalist Samira Sabou charged with treason, cybercrime
- Algerian prosecutor requests 5-year prison sentence for journalist Saad Bouakba
- CPJ calls on Sri Lanka to reconsider bills likely to undermine press freedom
- CPJ joins call for India to release detained journalists, stop using counterterror law against media
CPJ was in Malta this week to mark the sixth anniversary of the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed by a car bomb in Malta on October 16, 2017. Three men were convicted for the journalist’s murder, but three other suspects await trial.
CPJ has been pushing for justice in Caruana Galizia’s case for years, but the Maltese authorities have yet to implement recommendations from a landmark public inquiry to strengthen media freedom.
⚡️ Read our joint statement with other press freedom groups, in which we call for justice for Caruana Galizia and urge Maltese authorities to strengthen three proposed laws aimed at improving media safety to meet international standards on the protection of journalists.
- Across Africa, journalists must increasingly navigate internet shutdowns — Sikiru Obarayese, Tribune Online
- The plunder of the San José de Uré river: Rafael Moreno’s final investigation — Forbidden Stories
- Israel-Hamas War: Journalists surrounded by the dead — Patricia Martínez, El País
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