November 2013

Blog   |   CPJ

Tweets from a night at the 2013 #IPFA gala

On Tuesday night, CPJ honored four courageous journalists with the 2013 International Press Freedom Awards. The gala dinner, at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel, raised more than $1.65 million for CPJ's worldwide press freedom advocacy.

The awardees--Janet Hinostroza (Teleamazonas, Ecuador), Bassem Youssef (Egypt), Nedim Şener (Posta, Turkey) and Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay, Vietnam)--face severe reprisals for their work, including legal harassment, physical threats, and imprisonment. CPJ also presented Paul Steiger, founding editor-in-chief of ProPublica, with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom.

CPJ and attendees and followers live-tweeted the event, which we have curated below using the social networking tool Storify.

Blog   |   Internet, USA

Journalist faced prison for posting media relations number

Carlos Miller (Theo Karantsalis)

Carlos Miller is not one to back down. As the founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, a leading blog about free speech and press rights in the U.S., Miller has made it his mission to publicize examples of government overreach and the suppression of journalists' and other newsgatherers' rights. And although he frequently finds himself taking law enforcement officials to task through a combination of original reporting, analysis and activism, Miller never expected that his work would lead to a criminal charge punishable by a decade's imprisonment.

November 25, 2013 3:48 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Philippines

Interactive Timeline: 12 months of impunity at a glance

In December 2012, the Committee to Protect Journalists and 27 partner organizations launched Speak Justice: Voices against Impunity as part of an international effort to seek justice for the hundreds of journalists who have been murdered around the world. Today, on International Day to End Impunity, we are taking a look back at what has happened over the last 12 months.

November 22, 2013 5:29 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Sri Lanka

Journalists can help curb gender-based violence

Training journalists how to better cover gender-based violence can help challenge attitudes that foster sexual attacks. Helping journalists learn personal skills to safely navigate sexual aggression can help prevent them from becoming victims themselves.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Somali journalists arrested after airing rape allegations

Nairobi, November 21, 2013--Somali authorities arrested two journalists, one of them the victim of an alleged rape, on Wednesday in Mogadishu, the capital, and charged them with defamation in connection with a report on the alleged rape, according to news reports and local journalists.

Blog   |   Vietnam

A daughter's plea for her father's freedom in Vietnam

Next week, the Committee to Protect Journalists will be honoring four journalists from around the world at the International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition of courageous reporting. As the awardees from Ecuador, Egypt, and Turkey make the journey to attend the awards and benefit dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on November 26, one of the awardees will be absent.

Case   |   Nigeria

Nigerian journalists barred, threatened for covering trial

Armed state security agents on October 24, 2013, in the commercial capital, Lagos, barred journalists from covering the arraignment of 17 suspected members of the Boko Haram militant group on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism, illegal possession of firearms, and being members of a proscribed organization, according to news reports.

November 20, 2013 4:49 PM ET

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Case   |   Liberia

Liberian publisher Sieh freed, news outlet reopened

A court in the capital Monrovia on November 18, 2013, officially ordered the release from prison of FrontPageAfrica publisher Rodney Sieh and the reopening of the offices of the private daily newspaper, according to news reports. The newspaper will resume its daily publication on November 25, 2013, Sieh told CPJ.

November 20, 2013 4:41 PM ET

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Blog   |   Argentina

Inter-American court ruling seen as a serious setback

For more than a decade, courts and legislatures throughout Latin America have found that civil remedies provide adequate redress in cases of libel and slander. Over this period, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights -- an autonomous judicial institution, which is part of the human rights protection system of the Organization of American States (OAS) -- has issued key decisions supporting press freedom, including a 2004 landmark ruling that struck down a criminal defamation conviction of a Costa Rican journalist.

Alerts   |   Libya

Libyan journalist killed; others injured, detained

Mourners carry the coffin of one of the victims of a shootout the previous day at an anti-militia protest in Tripoli, on November 16, 2013. (AFP)

New York, November 18, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Libyan authorities to ensure that an investigation is carried out into the death of Saleh Ayyad Hafyana, a photographer for the independent Fassato News Agency, who was shot dead Friday while covering anti-militia protests in Tripoli, according to Fassato. 

Blog   |   Iran

CPJ joins call for passage of Iran resolution in UN

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined two dozen human rights organizations in signing a letter calling on all member states of the U.N. General Assembly Third Committee to vote in favor Tuesday of resolution A/C.3/68/L.57 on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Letters   |   Russia

Russia should support International Day to End Impunity

New York, November 18, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to join the many voices around the world demanding justice for murdered journalists and remembering the fallen on November 23, International Day to End Impunity. As Russia finalizes preparations for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics and looks to its upcoming tenure on the U.N. Human Rights Council, this is the ideal time for Moscow to affirm its commitment to tackling impunity, CPJ said. Read the full letter.

November 18, 2013 11:11 AM ET

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Letters   |   Pakistan

Pakistan should support International Day to End Impunity

New York, November 18, 2013--As one of the focus countries for implementation of the U.N. Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity, a strong statement on November 23, the International Day to End Impunity, would affirm that the Pakistani government has political will to investigate and punish the murderers of journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists stated in a letter to Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan.

November 18, 2013 10:53 AM ET

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Letters   |   Brazil

Brazil should support the International Day to End Impunity

New York, November 18, 2013--Brazil should make a strong statement committing to reverse the country's long history of impunity in journalist murders on November 23, the International Day to End Impunity, the Committee to Protect Journalists stated in a letter to Dilma Vana Rousseff, president of the Federal Republic of Brazil.

November 18, 2013 10:39 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Philippines

Four journalists killed, six missing in Philippine storm

Bangkok, November 15, 2013--Four journalists were killed and six others reported missing in the typhoon that struck the central Philippines on November 8, according to news reports and local press groups.

Case   |   Senegal

In Senegal, journalists convicted of defamation

A court in Dakar, the capital, on August 14, 2013, sentenced Mamadou Biaye, former editor of the private daily Le Quotidien, and Bastien David, an intern reporter for the paper, to one month in prison each on charges of criminal defamation, Agence France-Presse reported.

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Critical editor convicted, jailed in Azerbaijan

Editor Sardar Alibeili, right, has been sentenced to four years in prison. (IRFS)

New York, November 14, 2013--Authorities in Azerbaijan should release on appeal a journalist sentenced to four years in jail on trumped-up charges of hooliganism, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The conviction comes as Azerbaijan is scheduled to assume the rotating chairmanship in the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe in May.

Statements   |   South Africa

Zuma should send secrecy bill for further review

New York, November 14, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists urges South African President Jacob Zuma not to sign the revised Protection of State Information Bill and instead to send it to the Constitutional Court for review. The bill, which was sent back to parliament in September, was passed again by the National Assembly late on Tuesday.

Blog   |   China

Q&A: Paul Mooney on reporting in China

I've known Paul Mooney since we worked together at Time Warner's Hong Kong-based magazine Asiaweek, which closed in December 2001. After that we'd overlapped in Beijing for several stints. A lot has been written about China's refusal to give him a visa to let him go back to Beijing to work as a features writer for Reuters --- a dream job for a reporter with as many clips as he has built up over the years. He's been quoted widely about what happened, but I haven't seen his full account anywhere else. So here is an email exchange with him from today (I've dropped a reference to some foreign journalists Mooney named who are also having visa problems and most likely wouldn't want to be mentioned):

November 12, 2013 3:10 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Cambodia, France, India, Iraq, Mali, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Syria

Training can help journalists survive captivity

Two murdered journalists for the Africa service of Radio France Internationale, Ghislaine Dupont, 51, and Claude Verlon, 58, might have had a chance. They were abducted on November 2 in Kidal in northern Mali, but the vehicle their captors were driving suddenly broke down, according to news reports.

Statements   |   Ethiopia

African media leaders must address Ethiopia's repression

New York, November 5, 2013--As media leaders and officials of regional institutions gather in Addis Ababa this week for the African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF), the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the participants to ensure that press freedom is squarely on the agenda.

Blog   |   Kenya

Just the fear of draconian press laws is enough

Kenyan journalists' protests in 2007 warded off a new media law. (AP)

Few in Kenya's media could comprehend how a media bill, considered the most repressive in Kenya's 50-year history, could sail so easily through Parliament last week. Fittingly, Parliament passed the Kenya Information and Communications Amendment Bill on Halloween. It is awaiting President Uhuru Kenyatta's signature following a 14- day deliberation period.

November 5, 2013 3:29 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia arrests 2 journalists from independent paper

Getachew Worku is being held without charge. (Ethio-Mihdar)

New York, November 5, 2013--Ethiopian police have arrested without charge two editors of the leading independent Amharic weekly Ethio-Mihdar, according to local journalists.

Police in the town of Legetafo, northeast of the capital Addis Ababa, on Monday arrested Getachew Worku in connection a story published in October alleging corruption in the town administration, according to Muluken Tesfaw, a reporter with the paper, who spoke to Getachew shortly after his arrest. Getachew has not been charged, he said.

Letters   |   Sri Lanka

CHOGM leaders should urge media freedom in Sri Lanka

Dear Commonwealth Heads of Government: The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was set up more than 40 years ago with the aim of working together toward shared goals of democracy, freedom, peace, and the rule of law. In the past, formal meetings and private retreats at the summit have served as a platform for member states to discuss issues that affect all nations, such as apartheid in South Africa and the electoral dispute in Zimbabwe.

Alerts   |   France, Mali

Two RFI journalists abducted, killed in Mali

RFI journalists Ghislaine Dupont, left, and Claude Verlon were found dead in Mali. (AFP/RFI)

New York, November 4, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists today calls on Malian and French authorities to conduct an efficient investigation into the killings of two French journalists on Saturday and ensure the killers are brought to justice.

Impact   |   Belgium, Ethiopia, Morocco, Somalia, USA, Uruguay

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, October 2013

CPJ launches US report

Following CPJ's release of its report on the state of press freedom in the United States, the organization is pursuing high-level meetings with the White House. CPJ had drafted six recommendations that were shared with President Obama, including calling for a guarantee that journalists would not be at legal risk or prosecuted for receiving confidential and/or classified information.

CPJ continues to work toward securing a meeting with the Obama administration in order to discuss the report's findings.

"Given our 32-year history fighting for press freedom around the world, we believe CPJ can make an important contribution to the press freedom concerns and debate in the United States," CPJ Chairman Sandy Rowe wrote in a blog published the day after the report.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka detains, then releases two visiting journalists

With two weeks to go until the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka, the government's anti-media policies remain a pressing topic. There are two links below to statements by media support groups today relating to the government's wrongful and heavy handed response to a media workshop held in Colombo this week.

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