Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka must end media restrictions to facilitate reconciliation

This month, in the wake of anti-Muslim sectarian riots in the southwest, the Sri Lankan government pressured local journalists to hide the truth by not covering the violence. Those brave enough to report it had their equipment destroyed and were threatened or physically attacked, according to media reports. Since the government stifled coverage of these incidents, journalists have reported using websites accessible outside Sri Lanka. The atmosphere of intimidation in Sri Lanka continues to have a chilling effect on reporting across ethnic lines, even on issues unrelated to the most controversial topics of the wartime or postwar human rights situation.

Blog   |   India, Internet

Worrisome curbs on free speech emerge since Modi's election

Earlier this month, Indian authorities arrested seven people for publishing a photo of India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, alongside figures such as George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, and Adolf Hitler, under the headline, "Negative Faces." The seven, who could face lengthy prison terms if convicted, are but the latest Indians facing criminal proceedings for their critical views of Modi, a trend that is raising concerns about freedom of expression and press freedom under India's new leadership.

Blog   |   Ecuador

Ecuador's year-old media law stifles in-depth reporting

Rafael Correa is awarded an honorary doctorate by Santiago University in Chile on May 14, 2014. Four newspapers face fines for not covering the event sufficiently. (Reuters/Ivan Alvarado)

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa generated little actual news during a two-day trip to Chile last month. So Ecuador's four main newspapers did the obvious: They published short wire service dispatches about his visit.

Blog   |   Egypt

Egypt's Shame

This morning a judge in Egypt convicted journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood and sentenced them to between seven and 10 years in prison. All three were working for Al-Jazeera when they were arrested six months ago, but have a wide range of professional experience, including stints with CNN, The New York Times, and the BBC. Three other journalists--Al-Jazeera English presenter Sue Turton, Al-Jazeera reporter Dominic Kane, and a correspondent for Dutch Parool newspaper, Rena Netjes--were sentenced to 10 years in absentia.

Blog   |   China

Conditions for international reporters deteriorating in China

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China released at the end of May its annual report on conditions for international journalists working in the country. As we have done in the past, we're posting this year's report as a PDF. The takeaway is that conditions have certainly not gotten better and many feel they have gotten worse, according to the 123 respondents to the survey, slightly more than half of its membership of 236.

Blog   |   Internet, Pakistan

A year after Snowden revelations, damage persists to freedom of expression in Pakistan

In Pakistan, where freedom of expression is largely perceived as a Western notion, the Snowden revelations have had a damaging effect. The deeply polarized narrative has become starker as the corridors of power push back on attempts to curb government surveillance. "If the citizens of the United States of America cannot have these rights, how can you? .." is an argument that rights advocate hear way too often. The Snowden revelations quickly became a moment of recognition for those otherwise labeled as conspiracy theorists who believed that all digital transmissions become a tool that can be used by the U.S. government. Unlike, for example, Brazil, which has fought back, the government of Pakistan is working on ways it could replicate a NSA-like model in this country.

Blog   |   Nigeria

Nigeria targets independent newspapers

Nigerian authorities have been waging widespread attacks on nearly a dozen independent newspapers under the cover of fighting terrorism. By last weekend, no fewer than 10 newspapers had their operations nationwide disrupted, leading to the loss of hundreds of thousands of newspaper sales.

Blog   |   Security

At the UN, let's talk about journalist murders in plain language

The U.N. Human Rights Council was established in 2006 as a replacement for the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, which folded in the face of criticism that it gave a platform to many states with poor human rights records. Only time will tell if the U.N. Human Rights Council will be any better. Nevertheless, this week, thanks in no small party to nations led by Austria, the U.N. body meeting for the 26th human rights sessions in Geneva, will hear on Wednesday a high-level panel on journalist safety and related issues.

Blog   |   Internet, Security

Update: Journalists can still safely use TrueCrypt

Journalists who use the popular encryption tool TrueCrypt can relax. There is no evidence of any new or dangerous vulnerability in TrueCrypt, despite a recent scare over its integrity.

June 10, 2014 3:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iran

Time to end a five-year crackdown in Iran

Thousands of protesters gather in Tehran to protest the result of the presidential election in 2009. (AP/Ben Curtis)

This Thursday, CPJ will launch a social media campaign calling for the end of the press crackdown that began on June 12, 2009, the day of Iran's tumultuous presidential elections.

Blog   |   Pakistan

When Pakistan's largest news channel becomes the news

Today, Pakistan's most watched news channel, Geo News, was ordered off the air and fined by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). Earlier this week, CPJ documented an attack on Zafar Aheer, an editor of the Urdu-language Daily Jang, by six masked men--the latest in a series of attacks, threats, and acts of intimidation reported by staff working for the Jang/Geo group. 

Blog   |   Spain

EU 'right to be forgotten' ruling will corrupt history

Google has taken its first public steps to comply with a troubling ruling by the European Court of Justice establishing a so-called "right to be forgotten" throughout the European Union. The ruling, on May 13, requires that search companies consider individuals' demands to remove Internet links that reference them, and to give those requests priority over the public's broader information needs. The links may be required to be erased even if the content is truthful, lawfully published, and causes no prejudice to the individual. 

Blog   |   India

Q&A: Indian journalist Sudhir Dhawale discusses his release from prison

After languishing in jail for 40 months, Mumbai-based journalist and activist Sudhir Dhawale has walked free. Dhawale was the only journalist in jail in India in late 2013, according to CPJ's annual prison census. With his release, there are currently no other journalists behind bars in the country for work-related reasons. 

June 3, 2014 4:00 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt

Press freedom is now el-Sisi's choice

Egypt's newly elected leader, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, will have to face many challenges as president, including the real crisis that confronts freedom of the press in the country. Things were never good for the press in Egypt, but they have worsened significantly since former President Mohamed Morsi was ousted last summer. As CPJ wrote in a letter before the election to el-Sisi and his now defeated opponent, Hamdeen Sabahi, at least six journalists have been killed since Morsi's ouster and 16 journalists are currently imprisoned. Dozens more have been detained and released, creating a climate of fear and repression that has dampened the ability of journalists to cover political developments and the most recent election.

June 3, 2014 2:02 PM ET

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