Asia

2010

Attacks on the Press

Attacks on the Press 2009: Introduction

By Joel Simon

Does “name and shame” still work in the Internet age? After all, the massacre of 31 journalists and media workers in the Philippines pushed the 2009 media death toll to the highest level ever recorded by CPJ. The number of journalists in prison also rose, fueled by the fierce crackdown in Iran.
February 16, 2010 12:58 AM ET

Tags:

Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, Pakistan, USA

As fighting surges, so does danger to press

An Afghan police officer aims his weapon at two photographers covering pre-election violence in Kabul. (AFP/Pedro Ugarte)By Bob Dietz

As the United States redeploys forces to Afghanistan, and the Pakistani military moves into the country’s tribal areas, the media face enormous challenges in covering a multifaceted conflict straddling two volatile countries. Pakistani reporters cannot move freely in areas controlled by militants. International reporters in Afghanistan, at risk from kidnappers and suicide bombers, encounter daunting security challenges. And front-line reporters in both countries face pressure from all sides.

Attacks on the Press   |   Philippines

Makings of a massacre: Impunity fostered Philippine killings

Across the Philippines, protesters call for justice in Maguindanao massacre. (AP/Bullit Marquez)By Shawn W. Crispin

Before Henry Araneta and his colleagues set off on the morning of November 23, 2009, on what would be their last assignment, the DZRH reporter sent his wife a text message: There could be trouble.

February 16, 2010 12:53 AM ET

Tags:

Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan

Attacks on the Press 2009: Afghanistan

Top Developments
• Government tries to curb reporting on Election Day violence.
• Abductions target foreign reporters, endangering local journalists, too.

Key Statistic
20: Years that Parwez Kambakhsh would have spent in jail on an unjust charge. He was freed in August.

Deepening violence, flawed elections, rampant corruption, and faltering development provided plenty of news to cover, but the deteriorating national conditions also raised dangers for local and foreign journalists working in Afghanistan. Roadside bombs claimed the life of a Canadian reporter and injured several other international journalists. A series of kidnappings mainly targeted international reporters, but one captive Afghan journalist was killed during a British military mission that succeeded in rescuing his British-Irish colleague.

February 16, 2010 12:52 AM ET

Tags:

Attacks on the Press   |   Burma

Attacks on the Press 2009: Burma

Top Developments
• Some political prisoners freed, but eight journalists still held.
• Government censors all print publications, controls broadcasters.

Key Statistic
1st: Ranking on CPJ's Worst Countries to Be a Blogger.

Throughout the year, Burma's ruling junta emphasized its plans to move toward multiparty democracy after decades of military rule, a long-promised transition that dissidents and others viewed as a sham to further consolidate the military's power. As the country geared up for general elections in 2010--the first since the military annulled the 1990 elections, which were won overwhelmingly by the political opposition--authorities maintained strict censorship over the local news media and held at least nine journalists behind bars.

February 16, 2010 12:45 AM ET

Tags:

Attacks on the Press   |   China

Attacks on the Press 2009: China

Top Developments
• More access for foreign reporters, tighter rules for local assistants.
• As online use grows, government censors sites, jails critics.

Key Statistic
24: Journalists jailed as of December 1, 2009.

While China’s ruling communist party celebrated 60 years in power in 2009, its critics commemorated antigovernment movements in Tibet in 1949 and Tiananmen Square in 1989. Government agencies used a security apparatus strengthened for the 2008 Olympics to restrict dissenting voices during all three landmark anniversaries.

February 16, 2010 12:44 AM ET

Tags:

Attacks on the Press   |   Nepal

Attacks on the Press 2009: Nepal

Top Developments
• Government fails to investigate press freedom abuses.
• Reporter slain after covering Maoist land seizures.

Key Statistic
8th: Ranking on CPJ Impunity Index, making it one of world’s worst for press.

Nepal’s news media entered 2009 in a state of crisis. Attacks on the press had escalated in late 2008 amid a climate of impunity. The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), a local press freedom group, led weeklong, nationwide demonstrations to raise awareness about the deteriorating environment. On December 28, 2008, Maoist leaders signed a 10-point agreement to address the lawless situation. Clauses included a promise to create a governmental bureau to investigate press freedom violations, local news reports said.

February 16, 2010 12:24 AM ET

Tags:

Attacks on the Press   |   North Korea

Attacks on the Press 2009: North Korea

Top Developments
• Two U.S. journalists held for five months after crossing border.
• Citizen reporters begin to smuggle news out of the country.

Key Statistic
1st: Ranking on CPJ’s list of Most Censored Nations.

During a diplomatic standoff that lasted almost five months, two American journalists from San Francisco-based Current TV were arrested, tried, pardoned, and released. Charged with illegally crossing the border from China on March 17, they had been sentenced to 20 years of “reform through hard labor” after a closed-door trial, according to the official Korea Central News Agency.

February 16, 2010 12:21 AM ET

Tags:

Attacks on the Press   |   Pakistan

Attacks on the Press 2009: Pakistan

Top Developments
• Press has very limited access during two military offensives.
• Reporters face attacks, threats from all sides. Four are killed.

Key Statistic
6: Homes of journalists destroyed by militants in retaliatory attacks.

As Pakistan’s military launched two major offensives within its borders, officials pressured news media to report favorably on the conflicts while the Taliban and other militants threatened and attacked critical reporters. Reporters for Urdu- and Pashto-language news outlets came under the greatest pressure because of their wider influence among Pakistanis. Journalists who opted to embed with the military said they were forced to comply with heavy-handed restrictions on what they were allowed to see and report.

February 16, 2010 12:20 AM ET

Tags:

Attacks on the Press   |   Philippines

Attacks on the Press 2009: Philippines

Top Developments
• Maguindanao massacre underscores deep-seated climate of impunity.
• Local and international groups mobilize to offer aid, seek justice.

Key Statistic
29: Journalists slain in a politically motivated ambush, the single deadliest event ever recorded by CPJ.

In the deadliest event for the press ever recorded by CPJ, 29 journalists and two media support workers were ambushed and brutally slain on November 23 as they traveled in Maguindanao province with a convoy of people who intended to file gubernatorial candidacy papers for a local politician. In all, 57 people were killed in a shocking display of barbarism apparently motivated by political clan rivalries. The bodies were dumped in mass graves in a remote clearing in the town of Ampatuan.

2010

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