CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Bob Dietz

Bob Dietz, coordinator of CPJ’s Asia Program, has reported across the continent for news outlets such as CNN and Asiaweek. He has led numerous CPJ missions, including ones to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Follow him on Twitter @cpjasia and Facebook @ CPJ Asia Desk.

Blog   |   Pakistan

More threats against Pakistan's Hamid Mir

Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir was hit by six bullets in April and, more recently, a new round of threats. (AP/Anjum Naveed)

The well-known and controversial Pakistani television talk show host Hamid Mir survived a murder attempt on April 19, even though he was hit with six bullets--two of which are still in his body. "I can move, I can walk and I can talk, but I am still undergoing physiotherapy and taking medication," he emailed to a small group of associates, including CPJ, over the weekend.

November 10, 2014 3:11 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

Hong Kong's media battlefield

Student leaders speak to the press at a pro-democracy protest outside the central government offices in Hong Kong on Thursday. (AFP/Alex Ogle)

Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests are among the best covered in history. The city is saturated with print, broadcast, and social media, traveling across some of the best networks on earth. Its citizens are among the most connected in the world. And for all the media's flaws, consumers expect them to deliver.

Blog   |   Pakistan

When it comes to the right to report, journalists must stand together

Pakistani journalists I have met over the years know that while I might be an American, I have never been an apologist for the U.S. government. The goal of the Committee to Protect Journalists is to assist members of the press no matter where they are, and if we have to criticize their governments, well that's part of the job. We don't accept money from any government, and we don't promote any government's policies. We stay focused on journalists, their safety, and their rights. My beat is Asia, and the threats and intimidation faced by journalists working in that region is where our Asia team puts its focus.

October 14, 2014 12:52 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Security

Journalist in Hong Kong? These tips will keep you safer and help you do your best job

Police officers face off with protesters blocking the entrance to Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying offices on Thursday. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

We have been receiving reports of harassment and the use of force directed toward journalists covering the demonstrations in Hong Kong. Most of the incidents came over the weekend with the government's ill-advised attempt to end the protests with police force. But with tensions building today, more clashes with police seem possible.

October 2, 2014 1:14 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan

Free press commitment from both contenders for Afghan presidency

With little good news coming from Afghanistan amid the escalating violence and electoral standoff, here is something that goes against that tide. A coalition of Afghan journalist groups has got both presidential candidates in the disputed runoff election to endorse a 12-article statement of support for Afghanistan's media -- "Commitment of the Candidates of the Presidential Election's Runoff Phase In Support of Free Media and Journalists." Article 1: "I respect the value as an [sic] non-violable principle and pledge to spare no legal measures to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of speech." (The letter is also available in Dari and Pashto.)

Blog   |   Pakistan

Q&A: Pakistan's Hamid Mir speaks about climate for press freedom following attack

Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir after being attacked by unknown assailants. (AP/Anjum Naveed)

In April, Geo News senior anchor Hamid Mir was shot multiple times shortly after a CPJ delegation met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who pledged to take several steps to improve journalist security. The investigation into the attack has yielded no accountability. And since the attack, two arrest warrants have been issued by courts in Quetta and Lahore against Mir, and Geo continues to face challenges.

August 5, 2014 3:39 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

A message from the Pakistan Taliban

Villagers flee Pakistani tribal areas in North Waziristan following a massive crackdown on militants by the Pakistan army. (AP/B.K. Bangash)

CPJ received an email message from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan-- the Pakistan Taliban--this morning. Signed by the "Media commission, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Mohmand agency," the message was addressed to CPJ and our colleagues at Reporters Without Borders.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka crackdown, mobs and death threats turned on journalists

Sunil Jayasekera, convener of the Sri Lankan Free Media Movement, talks to journalists in Colombo in June. (AFP/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)

There is genuine cause for alarm about the anonymous death threats going to Sunil Jayasekara's phone. They started streaming to Jayasekara, the convener of Sri Lanka's Free Media Movement, an umbrella group (hence calling the leader a convener) of journalists' organization in Sri Lanka, just before an FMM press conference on Saturday in Colombo.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Pakistan

Seeking release of Pakistani journalist Faizullah Khan, jailed in Afghanistan

People buy garments ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Thursday. (AP/Mohammad Sajjad)

It's not often that CPJ agrees with the Pakistan government, but here is one of the rare occasions when we do. While Pakistan journalists have been pushing for quite a while for the release of one of their colleagues, Faizullah Khan, being held in Nangahar in Afghanistan, the Islamabad government has apparently been working diplomatic back channels. But Thursday, Pervez Rashid, Pakistan's minister for information, went public. He urged Afghanistan's leader to issue a presidential pardon. "I appeal to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to use his powers," to pardon Khan, Rashid said in a press conference in capital Islamabad. He also said the government will pursue his release through legal channels.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Security

An Afghan conviction, but little sense of victory

Associated Press Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carrol, left, speaks during the funeral of Anja Niedringhaus in Hoexter, Germany, on April 12, 2014. (AP/Frank Augstein)

Naqibullah, the Afghan police commander who killed The Associated Press' Anja Niedringhaus, has been given a death sentence after being convicted of murder and treason. He was also given a four- year sentence for shooting the AP's Kathy Gannon. Naqibullah (who goes by one name, as many Afghans do) opened fire at near-point-blank range on the AP photographer/reporter team in the southeastern city of Khost on April 4, 2014, as they were covering preparations for the first round of voting in Afghanistan's still-contested presidential elections. Wednesday's conviction and sentencing were the first steps along the legal path to a final conviction and sentence, which might not come for years.

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