An Israeli army vehicle drives outside the Ofer military prison in the occupied West Bank in November 2023. (AFP/Fadel Senna)

CPJ calls on UN to investigate Israel’s arbitrary detention of Palestinian journalists

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This week, CPJ called on the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to investigate Israel’s detention of Palestinian journalists.

Israel is utilizing administrative detention to hold a record number of Palestinian journalists without charge during the war. We are calling on the Working Group specifically to investigate the cases of detained journalists Moath Amarneh, Mohammad Badr, and Ameer Abu Iram.

“The alarming use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities amid the Israel-Gaza war represents the silencing of dissenting voices, most notably journalists,” said CPJ Director of Advocacy and Communications Gypsy Guillén Kaiser. “The incidence of administrative detention is a concerning bellwether for Israel’s efforts to restrict the public’s right to know what is happening in Gaza.”

Read more about Israel’s use of arbitrary detention.

Also this week, CPJ joined 38 other media freedom organizations in calling out the “collective official silence of the [Media Freedom Coalition] member states” regarding the killings of journalists in Gaza and further warned that this silence seriously diminishes their ability to stand up for media freedom globally. The Media Freedom Coalition is a group of 52 countries that have pledged to protect media freedom at home and abroad.

Read the full statement.

Global press freedom updates

  • CPJ welcomes UK High Court’s delay on Assange extradition, calls on US to drop charges
  • CPJ joins call for EU to prioritize rule of law
  • CPJ calls for Israel to release journalists detained during Al-Shifa hospital raid
  • Albanian PM accused of trying to intimidate journalist Ambrozia Meta
  • Belarusian journalist Ihar Karnei sentenced to three years in prison on extremism charges
  • CPJ, eight other groups urge Guatemalan leaders to expand press freedom
  • Pakistani journalist Jam Saghir Ahmed Lar shot dead in Punjab
  • Russian journalist Igor Kuznetsov given three-year suspended sentence, remains behind bars; Spanish journalist Xavier Colás denied visa renewal, expelled from Russia


CPJ staff members hold #IStandWithEvan signs at CPJ headquarters, in New York City, ahead of the one-year mark since Evan Gershkovich’s imprisonment in Russia. (Esha Sarai/CPJ)

March 29 marks one full year since Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s unjust imprisonment in Russia. On Tuesday, Russia extended his pretrial detention for the fifth time, until June 30, 2024.

The espionage case against Evan is the first such case in Russia involving a US journalist since the Cold War, and he faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted. Evan, The Wall Street Journal, and the U.S. government have all denied the espionage allegations.

CPJ’s 2023 prison census counted 22 journalists imprisoned due to their reporting in Russia, the world’s worst jailer of foreign journalists. Twelve of these journalists were foreign: 10 Ukrainian journalists imprisoned in addition to American journalists Evan Gershkovich and Alsu Kurmasheva. In an interview with CBS News this week, CPJ’s CEO Jodie Ginsberg called the practice “state-sponsored hostage-taking.”

Journalism is not a crime. Join our calls for Evan’s immediate, unconditional release: advocate for Evan during this chilling milestone.

Separately this week, CPJ published a new feature article about the 2022 murder of Haitian journalist Garry Tesse, who disappeared on his way to work at a local radio station in the southern city of Les Cayes. His naked and disfigured corpse was found six days later, sparking outrage and street protests. Since his murder, Tesse’s family and friends have accused the government of a cover-up to protect the man in charge of prosecuting the crime, Ronald Richemond.

Read the full feature article.

What we are reading

A closer look | CPJ’s most-read features in March

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