Europe & Central Asia

2012

Alerts   |   Tajikistan

News site blocked after covering Tajik official's murder

New York, July 24, 2012--Authorities in Tajikistan blocked domestic access to the independent regional news website Asia-Plus on Monday after the outlet reported on the murder of a high-ranking security official and its aftermath, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the government to immediately restore access to the site.

Blog   |   Internet, USA

Face-blurring comes into focus for journalists

From YouTube's demonstration page

This week, YouTube announced a feature that should catch the eye of video journalists and bloggers working in dangerous conditions. After uploading a video to YouTube, you can now deploy a "blur faces" post-production tool that, in theory, should disguise the visual identity of everyone on the screen. The Hindu newspaper has an excellent how-to guide for their readers.

July 20, 2012 5:24 PM ET

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Blog   |   Russia

Three years on, Natalya Estemirova's murder unsolved

People pray at the burial of Natalya Estemirova in Chechnya July 16, 2009. (AP/Musa Sadulayev)

Three years ago this week, Natalya Estemirova, a contributor to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and a local staffer for the Moscow-based rights group Memorial, was murdered in the North Caucasus, Russia's volatile region, where she was famous for her work as a defender of human rights. 

July 19, 2012 4:16 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Belarus

KGB puts editor in jail over photos of teddy bears

A teddy bear carrying messages of press freedom lands in a tree. (Studio Total)

New York, July 18, 2012--Belarusian security agents should immediately release a website editor who has been jailed for publishing photographs of teddy bears, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The KGB, the nation's security service, is holding Anton Suryapin for alleged complicity in an illegal border crossing--a charge that can bring up to seven years in prison--after the editor ran photos of the stuffed animals, which were reportedly dropped from the skies over Minsk as part of a publicity stunt.

"Are Belarusian security agents worried that teddy bears are engaged in an illegal border crossing? It would be hard to keep a straight face about these absurd charges were it not for the fact that Anton Suryapin is sitting in jail," CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. "We call on authorities to immediately release Suryapin and drop these senseless criminal charges against him."

Alerts   |   Russia

Former police colonel indicted in Politkovskaya murder

Retired police lieutenant colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, seen here in detention in 2011, was indicted in the Politkovskaya murder today. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

New York, July 16, 2012--Russian authorities have formally indicted retired police Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov on charges of complicity in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Russia's Investigative Committee said today. Politkovskaya, an investigative reporter with the Moscow-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and a fierce critic of the war in Chechnya, was slain in her apartment building on October 7, 2006. 

Blog   |   Internet, Russia

Internet law: a good bad example of Russia's backsliding

Russia's State Duma has passed a number of new laws in the past week, all seemingly aimed at reining in civil society and criticism of public figures. The bills would re-criminalize defamation and impose limits and labels on NGOs. They follow the introduction last month of excessive fines for unauthorized protests.

Blog   |   Kyrgyzstan

A litmus test for Kyrgyzstan's anti-corruption campaign

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, right, has said stamping out corruption is a priority. (Reuters//Vladimir Pirogov)

Campaigners from local rights activists to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay are urging Kyrgyz authorities to review the case of Azimjon Askarov, an investigative reporter and human rights activist serving a life sentence in Kyrgyzstan. 

Alerts   |   Russia

Russian parliament votes to recriminalize defamation

Russian lawmakers attend a session of the lower house of parliament on July 6, 2012. (AP/Misha Japaridze)

New York, July 11, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned over Russia's moves to return defamation to the criminal code, and calls on the parliament to reject the restrictive bill on its second reading. 

July 11, 2012 5:32 PM ET

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Blog   |   France

Victory for press freedom in Sarkozy video case

From left, Rue89's Pierre Haski, Augustin Scalbert, and two France 3 journalists were summoned in 2009 over a video of then-President Nicolas Sarkozy. (AFP/Jacques Demarthon)

"Champagne." Augustin Scalbert's tweet on Monday could not have better expressed the joy and relief at Rue89, a leading French news website. After four years of legal procedures, a Paris judge had just announced he was dropping all charges against the journalist  "for lack of evidence" in a case that was seen as a litmus test for the independence of the French press in reporting on the presidency. 

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Editor of Talysh paper further targeted in Azerbaijan

New York, July 5, 2012--Authorities in Azerbaijan should drop new, politically motivated charges against Hilal Mamedov, chief editor of a paper serving ethnic Talysh, and release him immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

2012

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