October 2013

Alerts   |   Saudi Arabia

Saudi columnist held without charge for four days

New York, October 31, 2013--Saudi authorities should immediately release a columnist who wrote in support of the women's right to drive and has been held without charge since Monday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Blog   |   Somalia

Shabelle off air and staff evicted, fearing for safety

Radio Shabelle was forced out of these offices on Saturday. (NPR)

The young staff members of Radio Shabelle, whose offices were in the relatively safe section of Mogadishu next to the airport, are no longer feeling safe.  On Saturday, while presenters were on the air, heavily armed security forces raided the Shabelle offices and arrested the three-dozen staff members at gunpoint, according to a statement by the Shabelle Media Network.  The security forces dismantled and took all of the equipment for Radio Shabelle and Sky-FM, a sister station in the same building, as well as Shabelle TV. 

October 30, 2013 10:49 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Vietnam

Vietnamese blogger sentenced for Facebook post

Bangkok, October 29, 2013--A Vietnamese court today sentenced independent blogger Dinh Nhat Uy to a 15-month suspended prison term and one year of house arrest in connection with his posts on Facebook, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the verdict and calls on Vietnamese authorities to end their escalating campaign of harassment against independent bloggers.

Statements   |   UK

CPJ urges UK political parties to reconsider royal charter

New York, October 28, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Britain's three main political parties to reconsider a royal charter that would establish a new press regulator in the United Kingdom. The Privy Council, the assembly that formally advises the Queen, is scheduled to review on Wednesday the proposed charter agreed by the three parties.

October 28, 2013 3:35 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

In China: Who, and what, to believe?

The New Express's campaign to get Chen Yongzhou, 27, released from police detention last week attracted international attention, including CPJ's.  Chen had been picked up October 18 on "suspicion of damaging commercial reputation" with a series of stores alleging financial mismanagement and corruption at Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co., China's second-largest heavy equipment maker. On Wednesday and Thursday last week the Guangzhou-based New Express ran front page, big character headlines calling for their reporter's release. The paper's editors had thoroughly vetted Chen's stories and they had found only one factual error, they said in support of his reporting.

October 28, 2013 2:59 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Universal TV journalist dies of injuries in Somalia

Mohamed Mohamud, 26, died Saturday after being shot six times on October 22. (Associated Press)

Nairobi, October 28, 2013--Journalist Mohamed Mohamud, commonly known as "Tima'ade," succumbed to gunshot wounds on Saturday and died at Medina Hospital in the capital, Mogadishu, local journalists told CPJ. Unidentified gunmen shot Mohamed, a reporter for the popular, privately owned, U.K.-based Universal TV, on his way to work on October 22 in the Wadajir district of Mogadishu.

October 28, 2013 1:38 PM ET

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Case   |   Peru

In Peru, two journalists handed suspended jail terms

Two Peruvian journalists in the central Peruvian city of Ayacucho who had reported on alleged government corruption were convicted of criminal defamation, fined, and handed suspended jail sentences in two separate cases on October 21, 2013, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Iraq

Gunmen kill Iraqi journalist near his home in Mosul

New York, October 25, 2013--Iraqi authorities must immediately identify the motive behind the killing of another journalist in the northern city of Mosul and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. At least two other Iraqi journalists have been killed in Mosul this month.

Blog   |   Somalia

Somalia, it's time for action

On the morning of Tuesday, October 22, 2013, Somali television journalist Mohamed Mohamud, nicknamed "Tima'ade," was seriously wounded when unknown armed men attacked him on his way home from work. He was shot more than five times. Colleagues and local residents in Wadajir district, where the attack took place, immediately rushed him to Madina Hospital in Mogadishu.

Alerts   |   Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, journalists held on libel, sedition charges

Two journalists are being held on libel charges after writing a critical article on President Koroma, seen here. (AFP/Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Lagos, Nigeria, October 24, 2013--Authorities in Sierra Leone should immediately release two reporters being held on charges of sedition and libel in connection with a story criticizing President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Alerts   |   China

In China, journalist held for alleging financial wrongdoing

New York, October 23, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for the immediate release of a Chinese journalist who has been detained since Friday after publishing a series of reports alleging financial misdeeds at a partly state-owned construction equipment company.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Somali gunmen attempt to kill a Universal TV journalist

Nairobi, October 22, 2013--Somali authorities must work quickly to identify the motive in today's murder attempt on a broadcast reporter and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalist, Mohamed Mohamud, has been hospitalized with serious injuries.

Alerts   |   Thailand

Five journalists injured in bomb attack in Thailand

Bangkok, October 22, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the recent roadside bomb attack that injured five reporters in southern Thailand and calls on both sides of the region's insurgent conflict to refrain from attacks that imperil journalists.

Alerts   |   Syria

Sky News Arabic's journalists latest to go missing in Syria

New York, October 17, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists today reiterated that journalists in Syria face unprecedented risks, after Sky News Arabic reported that it had lost contact this week with its crew operating near Aleppo. 

Blog   |   Belgium, Somalia

Duping pirates and endangering journalists

Belgium arrested Somali pirate chief Mohamed Abdi Hassan, shown in a January photo, after prosecutors lured him to Brussels on promises of shooting a documentary film about his life. (AFP/Abdi Hussein)

It could have been the script for a John Le Carré intrigue. On Saturday October 12, Belgian security agents arrested Mohamed Abdi Hassan, a kingpin of Somali piracy known as "Afweyne" (Big Mouth), and his associate Mohammed M. Aden, nicknamed Tiiceey, a former governor of Himan and Heeb province.

Statements   |   UK

CPJ concerned about Cameron's Guardian comments

New York, October 16, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron's statement today in which he urged members of parliament to investigate whether the Guardian had broken the law or damaged national security by publishing the NSA files.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Assailants throw grenades at radio station in Puntland

Nairobi, October 16, 2013--Unidentified assailants threw two grenades at the Galkayo offices of Radio Daljir in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland on Tuesday night, according to news reports and local journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the attack on Radio Daljir, which has been targeted in the past, and calls on authorities to identify the perpetrators and ensure they are brought to justice.

October 16, 2013 3:30 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Pakistan

In Pakistan, one journalist murdered, another attacked

New York, October 15, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Pakistani Minister of Information Pervaiz Rasheed to follow through on a public commitment he made last week to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate attacks against journalists. Since his statement, one journalist was murdered on Friday and another was beaten on Thursday, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Brazil, UK, USA

Greenwald wants to return to US, but not yet

Glenn Greenwald would like to go home to the United States, at least for a visit. But the Guardian journalist and blogger is afraid to do so. He still has material and unpublished stories from his contacts with fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden that he believes U.S. authorities would love to get their hands on.  The nine-hour detention and interrogation of Greenwald's Brazilian partner David Miranda by British security services at London's Heathrow airport in August has only compounded his fears.

Blog   |   Ethiopia

Africa's journalists honor jailed editor Woubshet Taye

Woubshet Taye's wife Berhane Tesfaye and their son accepted an award on behalf of the imprisoned journalist. (CPJ/Sue Valentine)

Journalists and media owners across Africa gave Ethiopian journalist Woubshet Taye a standing ovation in Cape Town on Saturday night at the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2013, but he wasn't there to see it. Instead his wife and son accepted the Free Press Award on his behalf.

Part of the citation for the award reads: "Ethiopia is a jewel in the African crown for its beauty, its people, its history and, most recently, for its astonishing growth rates. It is the judges' view that journalists like Woubshet Taye and his colleagues Reeyot Alemu and Eskinder Nega should be out of prison and working to build the prosperity and the freedom of a new Ethiopia. The judges make this award in recognition of Mr. Taye's work and in solidarity with his condition."

Blog   |   UK, USA

Solidarity in the face of surveillance

One way for journalists to build more secure newsrooms and safer networks would be for more of them to learn and practice digital hygiene and information security. But that's not enough. We also need journalists to stand together across borders, not just as an industry, but as a community, against government surveillance.

The Obama administration, in its attempt to control government leaks, has issued subpoenas and conducted unprecedented surveillance of journalists, as CPJ documented in a report this week. But the United States is hardly the only democratic nation that has been trying to unveil reporters' sources and other professional secrets.

Blog   |   CPJ, USA

CPJ report reflects seriousness of US press freedom gaps

On Thursday CPJ launched its first comprehensive examination of press freedom conditions in the United States. The report, "The Obama Administration and the Press: Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America," highlights the growing threat to reporting on national security and similar sensitive government issues. It was written by Leonard Downie, Jr., the former executive editor of The Washington Post.

October 11, 2013 11:13 AM ET

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Reports   |   USA

The Obama Administration and the Press

Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America

U.S. President Barack Obama came into office pledging open government, but he has fallen short of his promise. Journalists and transparency advocates say the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press. Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government sources from speaking to journalists. A CPJ special report by Leonard Downie Jr. with reporting by Sara Rafsky

Barack Obama leaves a press conference in the East Room of the White House August 9. (AFP/Saul Loeb)

Reports   |   USA

CPJ's recommendations to the Obama administration

CPJ is disturbed by the pattern of actions by the Obama administration that have chilled the flow of information on issues of great public interest, including matters of national security. The administration's war on leaks to the press through the use of secret subpoenas against news organizations, its assertion through prosecution that leaking classified documents to the press is espionage or aiding the enemy, and its increased limitations on access to information that is in the public interest -- all thwart a free and open discussion necessary to a democracy.

Blog   |   USA

The US press is our press

The front page of The New York Times, the day after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from office. (AFP/Stan Honda)

The international media depend on the U.S. press to cover U.S. stories--and many of these, from the subprime mortgage crisis to NSA surveillance, are global stories because of their worldwide repercussions. But international journalists also rely on the U.S. press to report and comment on most world events. Therefore any restriction on U.S. journalists' freedom to report inevitably reverberates around the globe.

Blog   |   Uruguay

Uruguayan broadcast bill could be regional model

A presentation at the office of the Uruguayan president: From left, Benoit Hervieu, head of the Americas Desk at Reporters Without Borders; Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior Americas program coordinator; and President José Mujica. (CPJ)

"Governments pass, but laws stay," said Uruguayan President José Mujica.

During a meeting with CPJ, and representatives from Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders at the president's executive office in Montevideo, the political capital, the former member of the leftist guerrilla group Tupamaros reflected on the upcoming congressional debate over new broadcast legislation. "It is our duty to ensure universal access to radio and television and contribute to freedom of information," Mujica added.

Statements   |   France, Syria

France confirms two journalists missing in Syria

New York, October 9, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the abduction of two French journalists in Syria and calls on all sides of the conflict to stop targeting the press. Nicolas Hénin, who regularly reports for French news magazine Le Point and Franco-German TV channel Arte, and Pierre Torres, a photographer covering local elections, were abducted by an unidentified group in Raqqa on June 22, the French Foreign Ministry said today in a statement.

October 9, 2013 11:59 AM ET

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Statements   |   Liberia

CPJ welcomes release of Liberian journalist Rodney Sieh

New York, October 8, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Monday's decision by Liberia's Ministry of Justice to grant Rodney Sieh--the publisher of FrontPageAfrica who has been jailed since August for not paying libel damages--"compassionate release" for 30 days. The conditions behind Sieh's release were not clear, but the journalist's health had deteriorated in prison. It is also unclear what will happen to Sieh after 30 days.

Blog   |   Canada, Egypt

John Greyson detention exposes Egypt's arbitrary policy

John Greyson (tarekandjohn.com)

Egypt is going through a tough transition and journalists are paying a considerable toll. Since the July 3 removal of President Mohamed Morsi, at least five journalists have been killed, 30 assaulted, and 11 news outlets raided. CPJ has documented a total of 44 cases of detention, and at least five journalists remain behind bars. The attacks on the press come amid a broad campaign by the interim military-led government to limit coverage of the Muslim Brotherhood and force the media to toe the official line.

October 7, 2013 6:33 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Iraq

Two Iraqi journalists shot dead in Mosul

New York, October 7, 2013--Two Iraqi journalists were shot dead by unidentified assailants in the city of Mosul on Saturday, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the killing and calls on the Iraqi government to ensure the perpetrators are held to account.

Alerts   |   Vietnam

Vietnamese blogger jailed on tax evasion charges

Le Quoc Quan has been sentenced to 30 months in prison. (AP/Na Son Nguyen)

Bangkok, October 4, 2013--Vietnamese blogger Le Quoc Quan was sentenced to prison on Wednesday for tax evasion, a charge that government authorities frequently use to stifle critical voices. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the appellate court to reverse the politically motivated ruling and urges Vietnamese authorities to end state persecution of Vietnam's independent bloggers.

Alerts   |   Gambia

Broadcast journalist held without charge in Gambia

Fatou Camara, host of the 'Fatou Show,' has been held by authorities since September 17. (Facebook)

Abuja, Nigeria, October 3, 2013--Gambian authorities should immediately release Fatou Camara, a journalist who has been held incommunicado since September 17, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The government has not disclosed Camara's whereabouts or any charges against her, according to news reports.

Blog   |   USA

Knowing how law and technology meet at U.S. borders

Border crossings have long posed a risk for journalists. In many nations, reporters and photographers alike have been subjected to questioning and having their electronic devices searched, if not also copied. But more recently, protecting electronically stored data has become a greater concern for journalists, including those who are U.S. citizens, upon entering or leaving the United States.

Blog   |   Bahrain

Who Shot Ahmed?

Masked protesters carry portraits of Ahmed Ismail Hassan at a demonstration in Salmabad village, south of Manama, Bahrain, April 10, 2013. (Reuters)

On the night he was shot, Ahmed Ismail Hassan al Samadi was working. Protestors had gathered along a highway near his home in a small Bahraini village. With his handheld camcorder, Ahmed filmed as they marched. He filmed as security forces arrived in marked and unmarked cars. The citizen journalist had tens of hours of footage of scenes just like this from a year of ongoing demonstrations that began at the height of the Arab Spring. With one bullet, his filming came to an end.

October 2, 2013 10:53 AM ET

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Case   |   Nigeria

Nigeria attacks news websites for their news coverage

The Nigerian government on September 27, 2013, accused two leading independent online news websites--the Abuja-based Premium Times and the New York-based Sahara Reporters--of publishing frequent reports that "incite mutiny" within the military and undermine ongoing military operations against terrorist activities in northern Nigeria, according to news reports

October 2, 2013 10:35 AM ET

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Case   |   Russia

Journalist covering Greenpeace ship detained in Russia

On September 18, 2013, British freelance journalist and former videographer for The Times of London Kieron Bryan, 29, was detained along with Russian freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov and 28 Greenpeace activists and ship crew members off the north coast of Russia. Bryan was covering a Greenpeace demonstration in protest of oil mining in the Arctic, according to local and international press reports.

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan orders news outlets to toe government line

New York, October 1, 2013--Amid violent protests in Sudan last week, authorities asked journalists to refrain from publishing news that they said would "disturb the public," according to news reports. Several journalists were subsequently detained and multiple outlets shut down, news reports said.

Alerts   |   Colombia

Gunmen kill Colombian vendor who collaborated on story

Bogotá, October 1, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Saturday's murder of a Colombian newspaper vendor who had collaborated with journalists on exposing misbehavior by guards at a local prison, and calls on authorities to investigate.

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