CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Nina Ognianova

Blog   |   Russia

Estemirova investigation on wrong track, colleagues say

A memorial to Estemirova. (CPJ)

Two years ago, as she was leaving home on a hot Wednesday morning in Grozny, several attackers forced Natalya Estemirova, the prominent journalist and human rights defender, into a car. A young witness--who later fled for fear of reprisal--recalled that Estemirova cried out she was being kidnapped and that a white Lada sedan then sped off. Estemirova's body was found a few hours later, ditched along a road near the village of Gazi-Yurt in neighboring Ingushetia. 

Blog   |   Russia

Celebrating Shchekochikhin, doubting investigators

A portrait of Shchekochikhin in his dacha. (CPJ)

It has been eight years since Yuri Shchekochikhin, deputy editor of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, died a painful death from a disease that in a matter of days stripped him of his skin, caused his organs to fail one after the other, and led his body to shut down.

On Sunday, on the anniversary of Shchekochikhin's death, family, friends, and colleagues gathered at the journalist's dacha in Peredelkino, southwest of Moscow, to honor his legacy. The group of guests was decidedly mixed. 

July 5, 2011 1:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Journalist Assistance, Russia

Beketov back on his feet, and a long road awaits

A fighter regains his footing, but his voice is stilled. (CPJ/Nina Ognianova)

Mikhail Beketov can walk now--using an artificial leg and propping himself on crutches. He's moving around his house in the Moscow suburb of Khimki. It was here, in his front yard, where the newspaper editor was attacked two years and seven months ago. It was in this yard where assailants left him for dead. The fact that Beketov can stand on his own again is testament to the sheer strength of the man, whom friends describe as a born fighter. He could be obstinate, they say, and that's why he would never turn away from what he believes in.

June 26, 2011 8:11 PM ET

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Blog   |   Azerbaijan

At last, a free man: Fatullayev talks with CPJ

CJES

Independent editor Eynulla Fatullayev, a CPJ award recipient, spent four years in prison on spurious charges of defamation, terrorism, tax evasion, and drug possession. All were fabricated to prevent him from publishing his searing exposés critical of the Azerbaijani government. On Thursday, after years of intense advocacy by CPJ and others, Fatullayev received a presidential pardon and was freed. "Although it took far too long," said CPJ board member Gwen Ifill, "we are deeply gratified at Fatullayev's release, and look forward to the moment when we can hand him his 2009 press freedom award in person." Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova reached Fatullayev at his Baku home today and talked with him about his experience as a political prisoner and the circumstances surrounding his sudden release.

Blog   |   Italy

CPJ responds to readers' comments on Italy letter

In the past week, CPJ has received a number of emails in reaction to our April 19 letter, signed by Executive Director Joel Simon, to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, which details cases of harassment by Perugia authorities against journalists, writers, and bloggers who have critically covered high-profile local murder cases. Some of the emails we have received question the accuracy of our letter as well as our motives for writing it. Most of those stem from this post in reaction to our letter by a blogger, who goes by the penname Kermit. 

April 28, 2011 3:19 PM ET

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Blog   |   Belarus, Russia

Under house arrest in Belarus for not playing by the rules

(Reuters)

It has been four long months since security forces snatched Irina Khalip, at left, from Minsk's Independence Square while she was reporting on a protest of the flawed December 19 Belarusian presidential vote.

While Khalip was giving a live account from the square to the Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy, riot police beat her and forcibly drove her away. (Her husband, opposition presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, was repeatedly struck with clubs and also arrested. He remains imprisoned today.) Khalip was one of at least 20 journalists detained that night, but her treatment has been especially harsh.

April 28, 2011 2:17 PM ET

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Blog   |   Azerbaijan

CPJ, global press groups join forces for Fatullayev

The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan--a coalition of 20 press freedom organizations, including CPJ--issued a joint call to the Council of Europe today to continue pressing Baku to release imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev

Blog   |   Belgium

CPJ calls on EU leaders to get their house in order

CPJ's Jean-Paul Marthoz said at the Brussels launch of Attacks on the Press that the EU must not give authoritarian governments in neighboring states an alibi to crackdown on their own press. (CPJ)

The European Policy Centre (EPC), Brussels' leading think tank, hosted CPJ for a policy dialogue marking the launch of our annual survey, Attacks on the Press, on Tuesday. CPJ's visit to Brussels coincided with a heated debate over Hungary's new controversial media law, which has eclipsed the country's first months as EU's rotating president. The law became a focus of our Tuesday discussion.