|CPJ releases imprisoned list|
In case you missed it, CPJ released its annual census of journalists in prison on
December 4. The report found that there are 125 journalists currently in jail worldwide
for their work, and for the first time, the majority of those jailed are
Internet journalists. The report has received a lot of coverage, with
discussions across blogs and technology-based Web sites, including the tech
news hub Slashdot,
the Los Angeles Times' technology
blog, and Silicon
|Video from CPJ's awards dinner now online|
publicly for the first time since his release from
covered combat in Fallujah and Ramadi. His 2004 photo of Iraqi insurgents
during the battle of Fallujah helped
Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal, helped raise $1.25 million to support the cause of press freedom around the world. Gwen Ifill, managing editor of PBS's "Washington Week," hosted the program, which highlighted the imprisonment of journalists.
The second award of the evening, presented by CBS News anchor Harry Smith, went to Ugandan editor Andrew Mwenda, founder of The Independent magazine. While in the
Author and journalist Steve Coll presented another award to Danish Karokhel and Farida Nekzad, director and deputy director of Pajhwok Afghan News. "After the fall of the Taliban, women broke free of their shackles and found a voice in society. It was a good chance for women to join independent media as reporters, photographers, and newscasters," said Nekzad. "But now, unfortunately, the situation for working women is getting worse day by day."
Awardee Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez could not attend because he is imprisoned in
New York Times reporter Barry Bearak, who was freed from a Zimbabwean jail this year, presented CPJ's Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement to Beatrice Mtetwa, who represented him during his detention.
Videos of the awardees and the year in review are now available on CPJ's Web site.
|Tunisia responds to critical CPJ report|
In September, CPJ released a special report, "The Smiling Oppressor," that outlined the Tunisian government's repressive press policies and examined the possibilities for reform in the North African country. Our research showed that President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has employed some of the most restrictive tactics in the Arab world to silence the media. This month, CPJ received an official response to the report, along with a number of press clippings from Tunisian media meant to highlight the openness of its press.
Read more about the Tunisian government's response to "The Smiling Oppressor" on the CPJ Blog now.
|Raja Petra released from Jail|
On November 7, Raja Petra Kamarudin, editor and founder of the popular Malaysia Today news and commentary Web site, was released from prison after a high court justice ruled that his detention was illegal and that the Home Minister had acted beyond his authority when he sentenced the blogger to two years in prison. Raja Petra was the subject of a CPJ special report published in October, "Malaysia's Risk Takers," that called for his release. The blogger still faces additional charges for sedition and criminal defamation over articles and commentaries posted to his site.
|On the CPJ Blog this month|
What's become of the people in this photo?
Journalist Assistance Program and Impunity Campaign Coordinator Elisabeth Witchel traces the lives of a group of Eritrean journalists who have been killed, jailed, and cast into exile since a photo was taken in 2000.
Freed in Iraq, an editor offers thanks
Shwan Dawdi, editor-in-chief of the Kirkuk-based newspaper Hawal, saw his one-month prison sentence and fine overturned by a Kurdish court on November 13. Dawdi had been found guilty of defamation charges earlier in the month. He sent a letter to CPJ thanking us for pursuing his case, and pressuring the Kurdish government to release the journalist who was imprisoned under an out of date law.
From an awardee, behind bars
Jailed Cuban journalist Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez wrote a letter from his cell in the maximum security Agüica Prison in western Matanzas province to accept CPJ's International Press Freedom Award. The letter expresses his gratitude for the award, and says that he works "for all those who suffer the horror that characterizes despotic and oligarchic government models."
Politkovskaya trial re-opened to media
After much back and forth with the trial being opened and closed to the media, it appears that the murder trial of Anna Politkovskaya will indeed be open to the press. Judge Yevgeny Zubov overturned a ban on journalists attending the trial of three men accused in the 2007 murder after initial assertions that jurors feared for their safety was shown to be false.
Read more about media involvement in the trial at www.cpj.org
CPJ board member Andrew Alexander will be become The Washington Post's ombudsman for a two-year term beginning Feb. 2. He was formerly the Washington bureau chief for Cox Newspapers.
Mohamed Abdel Dayem will be joining CPJ on December 15 as the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. He comes to us from Washington, where he was a research analyst at the Save Darfur Coalition. Prior to that, he was with the Middle East division of Human Rights Watch.