July 2012

Alerts   |   South Africa

South African journalists probed over scandal coverage

The censored November issue of Mail & Guardian. (CPJ)

Johannesburg, July 30, 2012--South African authorities should immediately drop a criminal investigation against three newspaper journalists who have sought to report details on a multi-billion-dollar arms scandal, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Alerts   |   Tanzania

Tanzanian authorities ban weekly indefinitely

A screen shot of a July edition of MwanaHalisi.

Nairobi, July 30, 2012--The Tanzanian government today banned indefinitely the critical Swahili-language weekly MwanaHalisi, accusing the paper of publishing seditious articles, according to local journalists and a statement by the information ministry. 

The ministry claimed that MwanaHalisi's four July editions contained seditious and false material but did not specify particular articles. Under the 1976 Newspaper Act, Tanzanian authorities can suspend a newspaper at will if they deem that it has "seditious intent," according to CPJ research. MwanaHalisi Chief Editor Jabir Idrissa told CPJ that the paper is considering filing an appeal.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Security

Time to reassess U.S. military counterinsurgency tactics

A memorial for Afghan journalist Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak in Kabul. (AFP/Shah Marai)

One year ago, on July 28, 2011, Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak, 25, was killed by American troops during a brutal close-quarters battle with a Taliban suicide squad backed by gunmen. Khpalwak was one of 22 people killed in the hours-long siege on government buildings that included the governor's office and police headquarters in Tarin Kot, capital of Uruzgan province. A reporter for the BBC, Pajhwok Afghan News, and several other organizations, Khpalwak died with 11 bullet wounds in his body. He was shot in a government-run newsroom while waving his press card and declaring in English that he was a journalist. It's fair to ask, one year after Khpalwak died, if any lessons have been learned. The odds that a journalist could be killed by U.S. forces' fire seem, unfortunately, to be as high as ever.

Blog   |   China, UK

Viewing the London Olympics coverage from China

Chinese propaganda officials must be thrilled that they're not responsible for the Olympics coverage in the British papers. Back during the Beijing Games, they worked hard to censor unrest and dissatisfaction in the domestic media. Reports of China's press freedom and human rights abuses were blocked, the kind of information control idiomatically referred to as "harmonizing."

July 27, 2012 2:09 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Security, USA

Stressed out: How should newsrooms handle trauma?

A TV crew reports on the shooting in Colorado from a parking lot across the street. (AFP/Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

The rampage inside a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 people and injured dozens more is the most recent reminder that a journalist anywhere can face sudden, great emotional stress. Any story involving tragedy--from domestic violence to natural disasters--can inflict an emotional toll on field journalists. The very empathy that makes a journalist a good storyteller puts him or her at risk.

July 27, 2012 1:49 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bahrain, China, Internet, UK

For journalists, danger lurking in your email

A protester in Jidhafs, Bahrain. (AP/Hasan Jamali)

This week, Morgan Marquis-Boire and Bill Marczak of the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab provided a disturbing look into the likely use of a commercial surveillance program, FinFisher, to remotely invade and control the computers of Bahraini activists. After the software installs itself onto unsuspecting users' computer, it can record and relay emails, screenshots, and Skype audio conversations. It was deployed against Bahraini users after being concealed in seemingly innocent emails.

Blog   |   China

Propaganda officials miss the boat on 'China's Katrina'

Severe flooding in parts of China has left numerous dead and missing. (Reuters)

Chinese journalists are questioning government propaganda due to conflicting reports of the death toll following Saturday's devastating flooding in Beijing. Like the Wenzhou train crash and the Sichuan earthquake, the tragedy has galvanized mainstream and online journalists--and the official narrative is crumbling under their scrutiny.

July 26, 2012 4:59 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Colombia

Unknown men abduct radio journalist in Colombia

New York, July 26, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the kidnapping of a Colombian journalist and calls on authorities to secure her safe return. Élida Parra Alonso, who covers children's rights and hosts a program for Sarare Estéreo radio station, was abducted from her home on Tuesday, according to news reports.  

Blog   |   Ethiopia

Where is Meles Zenawi? Ethiopians don't know.

Rumors abound about the health and whereabouts of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. (AFP/Simon Maina)

If you search for the name of Ethiopia's prime minister, Meles Zenawi, on Twitter these days, you'll see a flurry of incongruent postings: Meles is hospitalized in critical condition; he's fine and returning to work; he died two weeks ago; he's on holiday. Journalists for international news outlets have tried to sort out fact from rumor, but they've gotten no help from Ethiopian government officials who offered only vague assurances that the country's longtime leader was ill but recovering. In Ethiopia, where the government has imposed increasingly repressive measures on the domestic press corps, news coverage has been minimal and contradictory.

International news outlets, such as ReutersThe Associated Press, and the BBC, reported last week that Meles was hospitalized for an undisclosed condition. Reuters, citing diplomatic sources, said he was being treated in Brussels, although even that scant nugget of information was not officially confirmed.

Impact

CPJ Impact

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, July 2012

CPJ calls for release of jailed Ethiopian blogger

CPJ's condemnation of the trial and conviction of Ethiopian blogger Eskinder Nega this month has received widespread coverage in the international media, as has a follow-up story on the Ethiopian government's attempts to cover up news of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's failing health.

CPJ joined a coalition of international rights groups, including the PEN American Center, in calling for the release of Eskinder, who was sentenced on vague terror charges. Members of the coalition issued a combination of petitions and protest letters in the international media to bring an international focus to the blatant violations of press freedom in Ethiopia. CPJ board member Charlayne Hunter-Gault also wrote a blog on how Ethiopians, especially Eskinder, are being denied the right to exercise their constitutional rights, such as freedom of expression or freedom of association.

Through its advocacy, CPJ has helped garner widespread global attention to the prosecution of journalists in Ethiopia as well as the country's restrictions on press coverage of high-ranking officials. Our advocacy has helped make Eskinder a key symbol in the global fight for press freedom. 

July 26, 2012 3:11 PM ET

Blog   |   CPJ, Honduras, Russia, Turkey

CPJ testifies on global threats to freedom of expression

CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington on Wednesday, highlighting global attacks on press freedom and, in particular, assaults on the press in Honduras, Russia, and Turkey.

Alerts   |   Mexico

Crime journalist reported missing in Veracruz

New York, July 25, 2012--Mexican authorities must immediately investigate the disappearance of a crime photojournalist who was last seen on Thursday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Miguel Morales Estrada worked in Veracruz, which has become Mexico's most dangerous state for the press, according to CPJ research.

July 25, 2012 4:51 PM ET

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Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Defense tools for Sri Lanka's online onslaught

Sanjana Hattotuwa, the founder of the citizen journalism website Groundviews, sent us the links to a new series of posters and videos focused on digital communications security. The material, which is aimed at a Sri Lankan audience, is available in English, Sinhala, and Tamil, but is relevant to anyone who uses the Internet or a mobile phone.

Alerts   |   Tajikistan

News site blocked after covering Tajik official's murder

New York, July 24, 2012--Authorities in Tajikistan blocked domestic access to the independent regional news website Asia-Plus on Monday after the outlet reported on the murder of a high-ranking security official and its aftermath, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the government to immediately restore access to the site.

Blog   |   Maldives

#Maldives media debate unfolds on Twitter

MDP protesters demonstrate outside the Maldivian High Commission in Colombo. (AFP/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)

It started at 6:34 p.m. Monday. Abdulla Riyaz (@riyazabdulla), whose Twitter bio describes him as commissioner of the Maldives Police Service (MPS), published the following on his personal account: "MPS decides NOT to cooperate to Raajje TV [sic]. A statement will be released today."

Alerts   |   China

A year after Wenzhou, China still censoring disaster stories

Rescuers evacuate a Chinese woman from her home. (AFP)

New York, July 24, 2012--A year after drawing public ire for censoring coverage of a high-speed train crash, Chinese authorities should allow journalists to freely cover the aftermath of Saturday's deadly flooding in and around the capital, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. International news accounts said 37 people died in Beijing and up to 100 people nationwide.

July 24, 2012 1:35 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan restricts protest coverage, cracks down on press

Sudanese journalists protest the recent crackdown on the press. (AFP/Ashraf Shazly)

New York, July 20, 2012--Authorities in Sudan must stop their crackdown on press coverage of the ongoing protests in Khartoum and allow the media to report independently without fear of retaliation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. At least two journalists have been detained without charge; a third journalist's whereabouts are unknown, although local news accounts say the reporter may be in state custody. In addition, authorities have confiscated particular editions of at least three newspapers and also banned a daily from publishing, news reports said.

July 20, 2012 5:31 PM ET

Blog   |   Internet, USA

Face-blurring comes into focus for journalists

From YouTube's demonstration page

This week, YouTube announced a feature that should catch the eye of video journalists and bloggers working in dangerous conditions. After uploading a video to YouTube, you can now deploy a "blur faces" post-production tool that, in theory, should disguise the visual identity of everyone on the screen. The Hindu newspaper has an excellent how-to guide for their readers.

July 20, 2012 5:24 PM ET

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Blog   |   Russia

Three years on, Natalya Estemirova's murder unsolved

People pray at the burial of Natalya Estemirova in Chechnya July 16, 2009. (AP/Musa Sadulayev)

Three years ago this week, Natalya Estemirova, a contributor to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and a local staffer for the Moscow-based rights group Memorial, was murdered in the North Caucasus, Russia's volatile region, where she was famous for her work as a defender of human rights. 

July 19, 2012 4:16 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Belarus

KGB puts editor in jail over photos of teddy bears

A teddy bear carrying messages of press freedom lands in a tree. (Studio Total)

New York, July 18, 2012--Belarusian security agents should immediately release a website editor who has been jailed for publishing photographs of teddy bears, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The KGB, the nation's security service, is holding Anton Suryapin for alleged complicity in an illegal border crossing--a charge that can bring up to seven years in prison--after the editor ran photos of the stuffed animals, which were reportedly dropped from the skies over Minsk as part of a publicity stunt.

"Are Belarusian security agents worried that teddy bears are engaged in an illegal border crossing? It would be hard to keep a straight face about these absurd charges were it not for the fact that Anton Suryapin is sitting in jail," CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. "We call on authorities to immediately release Suryapin and drop these senseless criminal charges against him."

Alerts   |   Rwanda

Rwandan police arrest political reporter in Kigali

Idriss Gasana Byiringiro was arrested on Tuesday. (The Chronicles)

Nairobi, July 18, 2012--Police in Kigali are holding a newspaper reporter whose employer had earlier filed a complaint alleging that security agents had seized and interrogated him, according to news reports.

On Tuesday, police arrested Idriss Gasana Byiringiro, a political reporter for the private weekly Chronicles, on suspicion of providing false information, the paper reported. The journalist has not been allowed access to his family or a lawyer, according to news reports and local journalists. No formal charges have been publicly disclosed.

Alerts   |   Iraq, Syria

Two Iraqi journalists killed in Syria

New York, July 18, 2012--Two Iraqi journalists living in Syria and covering the conflict in that country were killed on Saturday although news reports differed on crucial details. The Committee to Protect Journalists continues to investigate the circumstances of the deaths, which come amid reports of increasing violence toward Iraqis living in Syria.

July 18, 2012 3:44 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan

Afghanistan's draft media law slowed, but not stopped

For now, the Afghan government's apparent attempt at railroading through a less-than-media-friendly new Mass Media Law without consultation seems to have been sidelined, though not derailed. On Sunday in Kabul, representatives of the Ministry of Information and Culture received recommendations from civil society workers and journalists, including some from the provinces, which were drawn up at a June 27 meeting organized by Internews's Nai Media Institute in Afghanistan.

July 17, 2012 2:29 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Libya

Libyan journalists released after nine days

Abdala Fassouk, the father of Abdelqadir Fassouk, holds a picture of the two cameramen. (AP/Manu Brabo)

New York, July 17, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of two Libyan television journalists who were kidnapped on July 7 after covering the country's first elections in decades.

Abdelqadir Fassouk, a reporter and cameraman for the private Misurata-based Tobacts TV station, and Yusuf Badi, a cameraman for the same station, were released on Monday, according to news reports. The journalists were headed back to the station after covering the country's historic parliamentary elections from the city of Mizdah when they were kidnapped near the city of Bani Walid, news reports said.

Letters   |   Ecuador

Ecuador must allow closed stations to resume broadcasts

Dear Mr. Jaramillo: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the closure of at least 11 Ecuadoran broadcasters since May. Our review of the closures, detailed in an attached list, found that in some instances government regulators did not follow the due process guarantees specified by law. CPJ's review also found that more than half of the stations that were closed had been critical of the government. While the government has the right to regulate the airwaves, it also has an obligation to do so in a transparent and unbiased manner.

Alerts   |   Russia

Former police colonel indicted in Politkovskaya murder

Retired police lieutenant colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, seen here in detention in 2011, was indicted in the Politkovskaya murder today. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

New York, July 16, 2012--Russian authorities have formally indicted retired police Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov on charges of complicity in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Russia's Investigative Committee said today. Politkovskaya, an investigative reporter with the Moscow-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and a fierce critic of the war in Chechnya, was slain in her apartment building on October 7, 2006. 

Alerts   |   India

Indian newspaper editor shot, in critical condition

New York, July 16, 2012--Authorities must immediately investigate Sunday's attack on Tongam Rina, a journalist for a local Indian daily, and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Rina was in critical condition today in a local hospital, according to news reports.

Blog   |   China

China's diverse censors

Attempts to rein in microblogs like Sina Weibo are a huge part of China's sophisticated information control strategy these days. However, news reports last week serve as a reminder that propaganda authorities also rely on methods that are more old school. 

Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia sentences Eskinder, 5 others on terror charges

From left: Eskinder, Abebe Gellaw, Mesfin, Abiye, Fasil, and Abebe Belew.

Nairobi, July 13, 2012--An Ethiopian court today handed down heavy prison sentences to six journalists convicted on vague terrorism charges, local journalists and news reports said. Award-winning blogger Eskinder Nega got an 18-year term; the others live in exile and were sentenced in absentia.

Blog   |   Internet, Russia

Internet law: a good bad example of Russia's backsliding

Russia's State Duma has passed a number of new laws in the past week, all seemingly aimed at reining in civil society and criticism of public figures. The bills would re-criminalize defamation and impose limits and labels on NGOs. They follow the introduction last month of excessive fines for unauthorized protests.

Blog   |   Brazil, Security

Bossa Nova's home and Olympics host is risky for press

The Rocinha neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. Such neighborhoods, or favelas, have been risky for reporters. (AP/Felipe Dana)

The jagged mountains ringing Rio de Janeiro descend to a temperate valley with two storied beaches on the Atlantic. Here is the city that gave the world a new, eclectic musical beat with the Bossa Nova, the South American jewel that will host the summer Olympic Games in 2016. Yet Rio has also been the setting for violence against journalists, a trend that is on the upswing again throughout this nation. 

July 13, 2012 3:14 PM ET

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Blog   |   Maldives

Maldives media offer first-hand accounts

Violent clashes between police and opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protesters continued in the streets of the capital, Malé, on Thursday night, according to international news reports. You can read CPJ's news alert on journalists swept up in the unrest--and background on the demonstrations--here, and some lively discussion on the situation here.

Alerts   |   Maldives

At least four journalists attacked in Maldives protests

MDP supporters demonstrate at a rally in Male in February. (AFP)

New York, July 12, 2012--Authorities in the Maldives must ensure journalists are able to cover ongoing political demonstrations in the country without fear of being attacked, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Alerts   |   Iran

News coverage of economic sanctions barred by Iran

New York, July 12, 2012--Iranian authorities have issued new censorship guidelines barring domestic news outlets from reporting on the impact of Western economic sanctions, local and international news outlets reported Wednesday. And, with at least three imprisonments reported, the government is continuing its years-long anti-press campaign.

Blog   |   Kyrgyzstan

A litmus test for Kyrgyzstan's anti-corruption campaign

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, right, has said stamping out corruption is a priority. (Reuters//Vladimir Pirogov)

Campaigners from local rights activists to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay are urging Kyrgyz authorities to review the case of Azimjon Askarov, an investigative reporter and human rights activist serving a life sentence in Kyrgyzstan. 

Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Former Ethiopian state radio journalist released

Abdulsemed Mohammed (Courtesy Abdulsemed)

Nairobi, July 11, 2012--A veteran Ethiopian state journalist who was twice imprisoned on vague corruption and copyright charges and recently convicted on the lesser charge was released today on account of a reduced sentence, local journalists said.

A panel of judges at the Lideta Federal High Court in the capital, Addis Ababa, sentenced Abdulsemed Mohammed, a former senior producer with government-controlled broadcaster Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency (ERTA), to three and half years in prison but said he could go free on account of time already served. The judges also put Abdulsemed on probation for two years, the local journalists said.

Blog   |   Colombia

Uribe's angry tweets do more than antagonize

Álvaro Uribe speaks at a 2011 congressional hearing about his alleged responsibility in the wiretapping of political opponents and journalists. (AP/William Fernando Martinez)

More than a year after he left office, Álvaro Uribe Vélez confessed that "it was not in him" to live as a former president. And in fact, having dominated Colombian politics for eight years, it has been impossible for Uribe to fade from the public eye since leaving office in August 2010. Instead of retiring to his ranch in Antioquia, he has lived in a heavily protected compound in the capital, Bogotá, with his wife and two sons. He spends his time traveling abroad for speaking engagements, has been a scholar at Georgetown University, and more recently announced the creation of a new political platform to oppose current President Juan Manuel Santos.  

Alerts   |   Gambia

Gambian journalist detained on contempt of court charges

Sidiq Asemota (The Point/Sidiq Asemota)

Abuja, Nigeria, July 11, 2012--A Gambian judge ordered the arrest of a journalist Tuesday on contempt of court charges, the third instance of a journalist being detained on such charges in as many weeks, according to local journalists.

Police arrested Sidiq Asemota, the legal affairs correspondent of the pro-government Daily Observer, while he was on assignment at the High Court in Banjul, the capital, his employer reported. Judge Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Court had issued an arrest warrant for Asemota on Monday, news reports said.

Case   |   Mexico

Mexican journalist released after 24 hours in prison

Prominent Mexican journalist Sanjuana Martínez was arrested on July 5, 2012, in the state of Nuevo León under unclear circumstances related to a civil custody dispute, and was released from jail the following day, according to news reports. Martínez was detained by armed police, which is unusual in a civil case, the reports said.

Alerts   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

DRC denies entry to independent Belgian journalist

Thierry Michel was denied entry into the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday. (AFP/Thierry Charlier)

Abuja, Nigeria, July 10, 2012--A Belgian journalist who released a critical documentary on the murder of a human rights activist was denied entry into the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Sunday. The Committee to Protect Journalists denounces the country's decision to block Thierry Michel entry into the country for what seems to be an attempt to silence critical journalism.

July 10, 2012 5:57 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Libya

Libyan journalists kidnapped after covering elections

New York, July 10, 2012--Libyan authorities must establish the whereabouts of two journalists kidnapped on Saturday and do all in their power to secure their safe release, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalists were abducted on their way to the city of Misurata after covering the country's first elections in decades, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Maldives

The Maldives backslides on press freedom

Maldivian riot police clash with supporters of ousted President Mohamed Nasheed in Male in March. (AFP)

CPJ has been watching the Maldives with concern since its first democratically-elected President Mohamed Nasheed relinquished power in February following what he describes as a military coup. New President Mohamed Waheed Hassan says Nasheed's resignation was voluntary and refuted criticism that his rule marked a return to the ways of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, a dictator notorious for jailing his critics, according to CPJ research.  Yet press freedom is deteriorating under Hassan with the rise of partisan political strife and religious conservatism. 

Alerts   |   Brazil

Brazilian journalist who covered sports gunned down

New York, July 10, 2012--Brazilian authorities must investigate the murder of radio journalist Valério Luiz de Oliveira and apprehend the perpetrators, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Luiz was shot and killed on Thursday afternoon in the western city of Goiânia, according to news reports.

July 10, 2012 2:40 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sudan

In Sudan, journalists detained after covering protests

A screen shot from AFP TV shows Sudanese demonstrators protesting in Khartoum on Friday. (AFP)

New York, July 9, 2012--Sudanese authorities must immediately release two journalists who were taken into custody nearly a week ago after covering anti-government protests in Khartoum, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The whereabouts or any charges against the journalists have not been disclosed.

Case   |   Mali

In Mali, masked gunmen kidnap, beat journalist

Unidentified armed men wearing masks abducted Abdrahmane Keïta, editor of the private bi-weekly L'Aurore, in a public square in Bamako, the capital, at about 8:30 p.m. on July 2, 2012, according to local journalists and news reports. The gunmen dragged Keïta onto their vehicle while repeatedly kicking and beating him with truncheons, the reports said.

July 9, 2012 4:31 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Another Somali journalist survives shooting

Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle (Universal TV)

Nairobi, July 9, 2012--Two unidentified gunmen shot Universal TV reporter and anchor Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle on Saturday evening near his home in the southern Wadajir district of the capital, Mogadishu, but he survived the attack, local journalists told CPJ.

An eyewitness spotted two men removing pistols from their waists and warned Abdulkadir before the two gunmen shot him four times in the stomach and leg, according to local journalists and news reports. The journalist managed to run inside his house and the two gunmen fled the scene. Abdulkadir is recovering at Madina Hospital, local journalists told CPJ.

July 9, 2012 4:14 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Security, USA

What to know about covering the conventions

Members of the press get their first look at the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. Security zones have been established outside to ensure people's safety. (AP/Brian Blanco)

If May's NATO Summit in Chicago is any indication, journalists covering events outside the national political conventions in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., later this summer can expect that everyone--mainstream media, bloggers, citizen journalists, protesters, and bystanders--will have a camera of one kind or another. With the widespread proliferation of cellphone cameras, capable of recording high-quality images along with audio and video, it seemed like everybody was documenting everything and everyone.

Alerts   |   Togo

Togolese reporter attacked while covering protest

Atayi Ayi, after the attack. (AFreePress)

Abuja, Nigeria, July 6, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns an attack on a Togolese journalist who was trying to cover a demonstration on Monday and calls on authorities to immediately investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Atayi Ayi, a reporter for the daily Forum de la Semaine, was taking photographs of a protest in Lomé, the capital, when two groups of unidentified demonstrators beat him and seized his camera, he told CPJ. The journalist said he was wearing a vest that identified him as press. The attack left him with injuries to his right eye, a bloody nose, and bruises all over his body, Ayi told CPJ. He was rescued by a police officer and reported the incident to the police the same day, he said. His camera was recovered by the police, he said.

July 6, 2012 5:59 PM ET

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Blog   |   Uganda

Ugandan press finds unexpected ally in judiciary

Police confront Daily Monitor journalist Yusufu Muziransa. (Daily Monitor)

With a medical drip attached to his hand, camped outside police headquarters along Parliamentary Avenue in Uganda' capital, Kampala, William Ntege was determined to get his video cameras back. Police had beaten Ntege, a journalist with the private broadcaster WBS, and damaged two of his cameras as he covered elections last year, according to local reports.  "I am here for my two cameras that were destroyed by the Ugandan police. We are fed up," read a placard Ntege held up to passing police and the public last week before being invited in by the police for negotiations, according to local journalists. 

Alerts   |   Vietnam

Blogger harassed, briefly detained by police in Vietnam

Bangkok, July 6, 2012--Vietnamese authorities must stop their harassment of independent blogger and rights activist Huynh Thuc Vy and allow her to report freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Huynh was briefly detained by police and threatened with anti-state charges on Wednesday, according to news reports.

July 6, 2012 11:54 AM ET

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Blog   |   France

Victory for press freedom in Sarkozy video case

From left, Rue89's Pierre Haski, Augustin Scalbert, and two France 3 journalists were summoned in 2009 over a video of then-President Nicolas Sarkozy. (AFP/Jacques Demarthon)

"Champagne." Augustin Scalbert's tweet on Monday could not have better expressed the joy and relief at Rue89, a leading French news website. After four years of legal procedures, a Paris judge had just announced he was dropping all charges against the journalist  "for lack of evidence" in a case that was seen as a litmus test for the independence of the French press in reporting on the presidency. 

Blog   |   Afghanistan

Afghan donors must address media repression

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, left, is welcomed by Japan's Emperor Akihito in Tokyo in 2010. Japan is one of Afghanistan's biggest donors. (AP/Koji Sasahara)

One thing that had better be high on the agenda this weekend at the meeting of 70 or so international aid donors for Afghanistan in Tokyo is the recently released official draft version of the Mass Media Law (a copy of the draft can be found here). I mentioned the new draft in a June blog, "Afghan media is under political and economic pressure." The real thing is even worse than expected. 

July 5, 2012 4:06 PM ET

Blog   |   China

Shallow victory for China's journalists, protesters

A police officer stands guard as protesters gather in the city of Shifang. (Reuters/Petar Kujundzic)

Shi Junrong, Xi'an Evening News bureau chief in the city of Wei'an, ran into trouble recently after he reported on the costly brand of luxury cigarettes favored by local officials. He announced on his microblog that the paper suspended him soon after, according to the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia.

July 5, 2012 1:51 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ecuador

Photographer gunned down in Ecuador

Bogotá, Colombia, July 3, 2012--Ecuadoran photographer Byron Baldeón was shot dead Sunday in front of his home in El Triunfo, about 60 kilometers (100 miles) north of the city of Guayaquil. The photographer had become a witness in a criminal case involving alleged police corruption, according to news reports

July 3, 2012 3:47 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan must end crackdown on press covering protests

Sudanese security forces pass through a Khartoum street on Monday. (AFP/Ian Timberlake)

New York, July 3, 2012--Sudanese authorities should allow journalists to cover anti-government demonstrations in Khartoum, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Over the past week, authorities have raided a media office and a journalist's home, arrested one journalist and interrogated another, deported a third journalist, and blocked at least three critical websites.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Palestinian security forces assault journalists at protests

A member of the Palestinian security forces scuffles with a journalist in Ramallah Sunday. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

New York, July 2, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned attacks by Palestinian security forces on at least four journalists who were covering protests against the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah on Saturday and Sunday, according to news reports.

Blog   |   China, UK, USA

The New York Times takes on China's censors

Well, that didn't take long. Just days after The New York Times' soft launch of its Chinese-language edition and accompanying microblog accounts, Berkeley-based China Digital Times website reports that the @nytchinese Sina Weibo feed is no longer accessible in China, along with two accounts hosted by Netease and Sohu. We couldn't pull them up this morning from New York, either.

Alerts   |   Belarus, Poland

In Belarus, journalist charged with libeling Lukashenko

Andrzej Poczobut, a correspondent for Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza, was convicted of insulting Aleksandr Lukashenko in 2011 and given a suspended sentence. (AP/Sergei Grits)

New York, July 2, 2012--Andrzej Poczobut, the prominent Grodno-based correspondent for the largest Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, was formally indicted Saturday on criminal charges of libeling President Aleksandr Lukashenko through a series of articles critical of administration policies.

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