Letters

2013


Letters   |   Egypt

Egypt should investigate, solve journalist murders

Dear Counselor Barakat: On November 26, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, a demonstration of the deep level of global concern. The only way to break the cycle of impunity is to bring to justice the killers of journalists, something Egypt has failed to do. Egypt is ranked second on CPJ's list of the deadliest countries for journalists in 2013.

December 10, 2013 12:31 PM ET

Letters   |   Russia

Russia should support International Day to End Impunity

New York, November 18, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to join the many voices around the world demanding justice for murdered journalists and remembering the fallen on November 23, International Day to End Impunity. As Russia finalizes preparations for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics and looks to its upcoming tenure on the U.N. Human Rights Council, this is the ideal time for Moscow to affirm its commitment to tackling impunity, CPJ said. Read the full letter.

November 18, 2013 11:11 AM ET

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Letters   |   Pakistan

Pakistan should support International Day to End Impunity

New York, November 18, 2013--As one of the focus countries for implementation of the U.N. Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity, a strong statement on November 23, the International Day to End Impunity, would affirm that the Pakistani government has political will to investigate and punish the murderers of journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists stated in a letter to Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan.

November 18, 2013 10:53 AM ET

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Letters   |   Brazil

Brazil should support the International Day to End Impunity

New York, November 18, 2013--Brazil should make a strong statement committing to reverse the country's long history of impunity in journalist murders on November 23, the International Day to End Impunity, the Committee to Protect Journalists stated in a letter to Dilma Vana Rousseff, president of the Federal Republic of Brazil.

November 18, 2013 10:39 AM ET

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Letters   |   Sri Lanka

CHOGM leaders should urge media freedom in Sri Lanka

Dear Commonwealth Heads of Government: The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was set up more than 40 years ago with the aim of working together toward shared goals of democracy, freedom, peace, and the rule of law. In the past, formal meetings and private retreats at the summit have served as a platform for member states to discuss issues that affect all nations, such as apartheid in South Africa and the electoral dispute in Zimbabwe.

Letters   |   USA

CPJ calls on Obama to preserve press freedom climate in the U.S.

Dear President Obama: We are writing to express our concern regarding a pattern of actions taken by your administration that impedes the flow of information on issues of great public interest and thwarts the free and open discussion necessary to a democracy. We cite specifically the use of secret subpoenas against news organizations, prosecutions that equate leaking classified documents to the press with espionage, and the increased limitations on access to information that is in the public interest.

October 7, 2013 11:56 AM ET

Letters   |   Liberia

Sirleaf urged to reform libel laws, free Rodney Sieh

Dear President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: We call on you to decriminalize defamation; adopt monetary damages for libel commensurate with the harm done and within limits Liberians can afford; and halt the incarceration of defendants unable to pay, which is highly unusual in civil cases. We urge you to facilitate the release of jailed journalist Rodney Sieh and the reopening of his newspaper, FrontPageAfrica.

Letters   |   UK

Cameron should probe Miranda detention, return data

Dear Prime Minister David Cameron: The U.K.'s use of anti-terror laws to seize journalistic material from David Miranda, partner and assistant to Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, is deeply troubling and not in keeping with the U.K's historic commitment to press freedom. We call on you to launch a thorough and transparent investigation and to ensure that his confiscated equipment and data are returned at once.

Letters   |   Vietnam

Obama must urge free press during meeting with Vietnam

Dear President Obama: We are writing to express our concern about the deteriorating press and Internet freedom situation in Vietnam ahead of your Thursday meeting with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang. We ask that in your discussions you insist on the progress of freedom of expression-related issues as a precondition for broadening Vietnam's diplomatic, economic, and strategic relations with the United States.

Letters   |   Sri Lanka

Commonwealth must ensure media access for CHOGM

Dear Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma: The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about press accreditation procedures for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in November. At past meetings, the Commonwealth's Communications and Public Affairs Division has been responsible for issuing permission to journalists to attend the meeting. And, as you know, the visa application process will soon be under way.

Letters   |   India, Pakistan, USA

Pakistan should allow access for foreign journalists

Dear Prime Minister Sharif: We are writing to express our deep concern about the expulsion of at least three foreign journalists from Pakistan. While Pakistan remains a dangerous country for journalists, we are concerned that it is also fast becoming inhospitable to international correspondents.

Letters   |   Tanzania, USA

Obama should urge promotion of free press in Tanzania

Dear President Obama: Ahead of your first trip to East Africa, we would like to bring to your attention the deteriorating state of press freedom in Tanzania. In your meetings with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, we ask that you discuss the critical importance of press freedom to economic development and democracy.

Letters   |   Chad

Chad should release journalists from detention

Your Excellency Idriss Deby Itno: We are writing to express our concern about the ongoing imprisonment of Chadian journalists on anti-state charges. We believe the arrests of these reporters, simply for writing articles critical of the administration, turn dissenting citizens into criminals and stifle legitimate debate on issues of public interest.

Letters   |   Qatar

CPJ urges Qatar to reconsider cybercrime bill

Dear Prime Minister Hamad: We are writing to express our concern about the cybercrime bill approved by the cabinet on Wednesday, which would restrict online expression on news websites and social media. We ask you to postpone its submission to the Shura Council and consult with media, legal, and human rights representatives to ensure that its provisions do not infringe on freedom of expression.

May 30, 2013 6:14 PM ET

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Letters   |   South Sudan

Press must be able to work freely in South Sudan

Dear President Salva Kiir Mayardit: We are writing to express our deep concern about the deteriorating state of press freedom in your country. In the past six months, CPJ has documented several cases of attacks, intimidation, and detention of journalists by security agents in South Sudan and we are concerned that this harassment has led to self-censorship and even exile among the local press corps. We urge you to use the power of your office to ensure that journalists are allowed to work freely without harassment and censure from state security officials.

Letters   |   USA

CPJ board protests secret seizure of AP phone records

Dear Attorney General Holder and Deputy Attorney General Cole: CPJ's board of directors rarely has seen the need to raise its collective voice against U.S. government actions that threaten newsgathering. Today, however, we write to vigorously protest the secret seizing of phone records of The Associated Press. The overly broad scope of the subpoena and the lack of notification to the AP represent a damaging setback for press freedom in the United States and set a terrible example for the rest of the world.

Letters   |   Ethiopia, USA

At AU summit, Kerry should speak out for a free press

Dear Mr. Secretary: We are writing to bring to your attention the deteriorating state of press freedom in Ethiopia, where you will attend this year's African Union Summit. A vibrant press and civil society is fundamental to hold governments accountable and to ensure long-term development and stability. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity, we ask that you include the issue of press freedom in your discussion of the challenges that Africa will face in the next half-century.

Letters   |   Ethiopia, Gambia, Nigeria, Somalia

CPJ calls on African Union to uphold press freedom

Dear Chairperson Zuma: We ask that you mark World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2013, by calling for the release of all journalists imprisoned in Africa and appealing for justice in the murders of journalists killed in the line of duty.

Letters   |   Sudan

Sudan must halt censorship and intimidation campaign

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, is disturbed by the ongoing campaign by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) to intimidate journalists and interfere in their work, including by censoring newspapers. In particular we are concerned for the safety of the Khartoum bureau chief for international news network Al-Jazeera, Almassllmani Al-Kabashi, who has been repeatedly harassed by NISS.

April 18, 2013 4:21 PM ET

Letters   |   Burundi

CPJ urges Burundi to reject restrictive media law

Dear President Nkurunziza: We are writing to bring to your attention restrictive amendments to Burundi's 2003 Press Law that were passed in the National Assembly on April 3. The bill will go before the Senate and if passed, will soon come to you for confirmation. We ask that you use the power of your office to reject this severely restrictive bill, thus reaffirming your government's commitment to press freedom.

April 16, 2013 11:23 AM ET

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Letters   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia threatens journalist with solitary confinement

Dear Minister Birhan Hailu: We are writing to bring to your attention the case of Ethiopian journalist and teacher Reeyot Alemu, whose health has deteriorated since her imprisonment in June 2011 on terrorism charges and who is now being threatened with solitary confinement. The Ethiopian Ministry of Justice has publicly subscribed to a vision in which "human and democratic rights are respected," yet Reeyot's full human rights are being denied to her in Kality Prison.

April 10, 2013 11:45 AM ET

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Letters   |   UK

UK urged to reconsider post-Leveson media proposals

Dear Prime Minister Cameron: You recently spoke out in defense of press freedom in Africa by raising the case of an imprisoned Somali journalist when you met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The journalist was subsequently released. The moral authority of a British prime minister to mount such a defense stems in part from Britain's history of nearly 300 years without government regulation of the press.

Letters   |   Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe must heed rule of law in Beatrice Mtetwa case

Dear Minister: We are writing to express our concern about the arrest on Sunday of award-winning human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa and her subsequent detention by police in defiance of an order issued by a high court judge. We believe this invalidates the criminal proceedings instituted against her on Wednesday and constitutes an affront to the constitution and legal system of your country.

Letters   |   Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela

CPJ urges OAS not to weaken human rights system

Dear OAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs: Ahead of the assembly of the Organization of American States on Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists urges you to oppose any attempts to debilitate the regional human rights system. The failure of member states to preserve the autonomy and independence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and its special rapporteur on freedom of expression would make citizens throughout the hemisphere more vulnerable to human rights violations and represent a blow to democracy in the Americas.

March 18, 2013 12:40 PM ET

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Letters   |   Azerbaijan

CPJ urges Azerbaijan to halt its crackdown on the press

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to bring to your attention the deteriorating climate of press freedom in Azerbaijan, which undermines your government's commitments to press freedom and human rights, mars the country's international image, and obstructs the transparency of the upcoming October presidential vote in which you reportedly plan to seek re-election. We call on you to start reversing this trend and allow the press to report freely without fear of imprisonment, attacks, or politicized lawsuits.

Letters   |   Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan should reopen case of jailed journalist

Dear Prosecutor General Salyanova: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to bring to your attention the case of Azimjon Askarov, an investigative reporter and human rights activist imprisoned in Kyrgyzstan. CPJ has written widely about Askarov, who was sentenced to a life term on fabricated charges in a trial marred by procedural violations. Now, following new evidence that has come to light, we ask that you respect Kyrgyzstan's commitment to the rule of law and fulfill the public pledges that President Almazbek Atambayev has made in regards to the journalist's case.

February 27, 2013 5:11 PM ET

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Letters   |   Somalia, UK

UK should press Somalia on journalist's jailing, murders

Dear Prime Minister Cameron: In anticipation of your meeting with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud next week, we would like to bring to your attention recent actions taken by the Somali government, as well as the increasing number of unsolved journalist murders in the country.

Letters   |   Somalia

Somalia should free jailed reporter, solve press murders

Dear President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud: We are writing to express our concern about a Somali journalist who has been imprisoned since January 10 for interviewing a woman who claimed she was raped by government soldiers. We are also concerned by recent statements you made in Washington indicating your administration will not tolerate negative coverage by the local press. We urge you to ensure the journalist is released immediately and to follow up on your commitment to create a task force to investigate Somalia's unsolved journalist murders.

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