February 2017

Statements   |   Iraq

Iraqi Kurdish journalist killed by roadside bomb in Mosul

New York, February 25, 2017--Iraqi Kurdish reporter Shifa Zikri Ibrahim, known professionally as Shifa Gardi, was killed today by a roadside bomb while covering the Iraqi Army's offensive against the Islamic State group in western Mosul for the Kurdish TV station Rudaw, the network said. A cameraman for the network, Younis Mustafa, was also injured in the bombing.

Statements   |   USA

Reporters barred from U.S. press secretary briefing

Reporters gather after being denied access to an informal White House press secretary briefing. (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

New York, February 24, 2017--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the decision today to bar nine news outlets from an informal briefing known as "a gaggle" by President Donald Trump's White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Separately, at the Conservative Party Action Conference in Maryland today, Trump said that journalists should not be allowed to use anonymous sources, and accused the press of producing "fake news," according to reports.

Blog   |   China

In China, sources face harassment, jail for speaking to foreign media

A passerby reads newspapers posted on a bulletin board in Beijing. Some foreign correspondents in China say they are finding it hard to find citizens willing to be interviewed. (AFP/Teh Eng Koon)

Zhang Lifan is a Beijing-based historian specializing in modern Chinese history. He is also an outspoken critic of the Chinese government who is interviewed regularly by the foreign press--even when it leads to harassment from officials. Last month alone, he was quoted in a New York Times article about the government revising the length of a war with Japan in history books, The Washington Post and Bloomberg in reports on President Xi Jinping's visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, The Associated Press on a story about U.S. President Donald Trump's inaugural speech, and by Voice of America in a piece on the government's crackdown on news websites.

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan military intelligence officers suspected in journalist's murder

Media rights activists light candles in front of the portrait of slain Sri Lankan newspaper editor Lasantha Wickramatunga during a silent vigil to condemn his killing in Colombo, January 15, 2009. (Reuters/Buddhika Weerasinghe)

New York, February 23, 2017--Sri Lankan authorities should fully investigate the 2009 murder of an editor and bring his killers to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Five military intelligence officers were arrested this week in connection with the murder of Lasantha Wickramatunga, the editor-in-chief of the weekly Sunday Leader and a fierce critic of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to news reports.

February 23, 2017 4:04 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

Hong Kong daily Sing Pao says its journalists and website are under attack

A man spins a wheel during new year festivities to predict the winner of Hong Kong's chief executive election. The daily Sing Pao says its staff are being harassed because of its critical coverage. (AFP/Anthony Wallace)

New York, February 22, 2017--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Hong Kong authorities to investigate the harassment of journalists at the daily Sing Pao. Sing Pao Media Enterprises, which owns the paper, released a statement yesterday saying that staff have been followed and harassed, and that the newspaper's computer system was attacked.

February 22, 2017 6:32 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Togo

Togolese journalist beaten, victim of hit-and-run

Lagos, Nigeria, February 22, 2017--Togolese authorities should ensure the safety of a journalist beaten by security forces and should fully and credibly investigate that assault, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Robert Avotor, a journalist for the biweekly newspaper l'Alternative, told CPJ that a vehicle intentionally hit him on February 19, in what he believes was retaliation for his legal complaints against the officers he accuses of beating him.

February 22, 2017 2:15 PM ET

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Case   |   Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast detains six journalists for reporting on mutiny

A sign for Adiake stands by an empty road in the Ivory Coast. Six journalists face charges of spreading false news for reporting on a settlement reached to end a military mutiny in the town. (Reuters/Luc Gnago)

Police in the Ivory Coast on February 12, 2017, detained Vamara Coulibaly, the publisher of the independent Soir Info and L'Inter newspapers; Hamadou Ziao, editor-in-chief of L'Inter; Jean Bédel Gnago, a journalist with Soir info; Bamba Franck Mamadou, the publisher of the pro-opposition newspaper Notre Voie; Yacouba Gbané, the publisher of the pro-opposition newspapers Le Temps and LG Info; and Ferdinand Bailly, a journalist with Le Temps, for reporting that the government had negotiated a settlement to end a military mutiny in the southeastern city of Adiake on February 7, according to media reports.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 19

A float depicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stands ready for the upcoming Rose Monday carnival parade in Mainz, Germany, February 21, 2017. The signs say 'democracy' and 'freedom of speech.' (Reuters/Ralph Orlowski)

Detention of Die Welt Turkey correspondent complicates relations with Germany
The detention of Deniz Yücel, Turkey correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, has complicated relations with German officials, the socialist daily Evrensel, the German news website Handelsbatt Global, and the pro-Turkish-government Daily Sabah reported. According to a February 21 Handelsbatt Global report, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım about the German-Turkish dual citizen's case at the Munich Security Conference over the past weekend.

Reports   |   Internet, Journalist Assistance, Security

The Best Defense

What is CPJ doing about the risks?

This report shows how the world has become more dangerous for journalists. Given the proliferation of violent non-state actors; the shrinking rule of law in some places and resurgent authoritarianism in others; and reduced foreign news coverage by media in favor of reliance on freelancers, keeping journalists safe requires new strategies.

(Scout Tufankjian/CPJ)
February 21, 2017 9:00 AM ET

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Reports   |   Internet, Journalist Assistance, Security

The Best Defense

Only universal technical security will keep journalists safe

By Tom Lowenthal, CPJ Staff Technologist

Journalism is an information field — its practice is based on communication with sources, compiling and analyzing information and data, and then publishing and sharing the results. Like most members of modern society, journalists rely on mobile phones, laptops, email, instant messages, and online service providers to conduct their work, but journalism is heavily impacted by technology trends.

(Scout Tufankjian/CPJ)

Reports   |   Internet, Journalist Assistance, Security

The Best Defense

Threats to journalists' safety demand fresh approach

Reporting on wars and natural disasters is inherently dangerous, but the spread of insurgent and criminal groups globally poses an unprecedented risk to journalists. Since the videotaped killings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff in 2014, public awareness of the risks has increased exponentially, but the dangers persist.

(Scout Tufankjian/CPJ)

Reports   |   Internet, Journalist Assistance, Security

The Best Defense: Threats to journalists' safety demand fresh approach

Much work remains to be done to improve the security of journalists in the face of unprecedented threats, including the spread of violent non-state actors, the shrinking rule of law, resurgent authoritarianism, and an industry shift toward reliance on freelancers. Journalists, news outlets, and press freedom groups must find approaches that go beyond traditional training and advocacy. A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

(Scout Tufankjian/CPJ)
February 21, 2017 9:00 AM ET

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Blog   |   USA

Journalists covering Standing Rock face charges as police arrest protesters

A banner is unveiled near a camp of Dakota Access pipeline protesters. Several journalists covering the Standing Rock protests are facing charges. (AP/David Goldman)V(AP Photo/David Goldman)

For months, environmental protesters have clashed with police and private security companies over plans for the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.7 billion project that opponents say will destroy Native American sites and affect the region's water supply. While mainstream media have covered flashpoints in the protests, a core of mostly freelance, left-wing, and Native American outlets have remained at the site to provide daily coverage.

Blog   |   Vietnam

'I wanted to stay and fight for my beliefs' says jailed Vietnamese blogger forced into exile

Vietnamese blogger Dang Xuan Dieu is forced to live in exile as part of conditions for his early prison release. (Family handout)

Vietnamese journalist and religious activist Dang Xuan Dieu was granted early release January 12 from a 13-year prison sentence on anti-state charges filed over his critical reporting. As with recent early releases of other jailed Vietnamese journalists, Dieu was forced to immediately board a plane and go into exile as a condition for his freedom.

February 17, 2017 12:22 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Russia, Ukraine

Crimean journalist faces trial on separatism charges

Russian President Vladimir Putin (center), head of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov (left), and then-Sevastopol Acting Governor Dmitry Ovsyannikov, take part in a video conference in Moscow, December 27, 2016. (Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters)

New York, February 16, 2017--Authorities in Crimea should immediately drop all charges against Mykola (Nikolai) Semena and allow the journalist to work unobstructed, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A preliminary hearing in Semena's trial on charges of separatism is scheduled for tomorrow, according to his employer.

February 16, 2017 4:09 PM ET

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Blog   |   Belgium

CPJ calls for OSCE to swiftly fill press freedom representative vacancy

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined seven other press freedom organizations in calling on the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to swiftly appoint a new representative on Freedom of the Media. The incumbent representative, Dunja Mijatović, has been an outspoken defender of press freedom, but she is scheduled to leave office in one month. Details of a successor have not been announced.

February 16, 2017 10:04 AM ET

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Statements   |   Venezuela

Venezuela suspends CNN en Español broadcasts

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro speaks to the press at a summit in January. The state-run regulator has suspended transmissions of CNN en Español days after the president criticized the broadcaster. (AP/Tatiana Fernandez)

New York, February 15, 2017--Venezuela's state telecommunications regulator Conatel today ordered transmissions of CNN en Español to be suspended in the country, according to reports. A statement from the regulator said that Conatel was initiating administrative proceedings against the Spanish-language channel of CNN, which it said distorted the truth and "attack[ed] the peace and democratic stability of the Venezuelan people."

February 15, 2017 5:59 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Dominican Republic

Two radio journalists shot and killed during live broadcast in the Dominican Republic

New York, February 15, 2017 -- Authorities in the Dominican Republic should establish a motive in the murder of radio journalists Luis Manuel Medina and Leónidas Martínez and prosecute all those responsible, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The two radio journalists were shot and killed yesterday during a Facebook Live broadcast at the FM 103.5 radio station located in the southeastern city of San Pedro de Macorís in the Dominican Republic, according to press reports.

February 15, 2017 5:52 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Brazil

O Globo and Folha de S.Paulo ordered to remove reports about Brazil's First Lady

Brazil's President Michel Temer and his wife, Marcela, pictured in October 2016. Two papers were ordered to remove reports on the trial of a hacker who targeted the first lady. (AFP/Money Sharma)

São Paulo, February 15, 2017--A judge ordered two of Brazil's biggest national dailies, Folha de S.Paulo and O Globo, to remove stories from their websites about a court case of a hacker convicted of attempted blackmail of Brazil's first lady, Marcela Temer, according to reports in both papers.

Alerts   |   Lebanon

Mob attacks Lebanese TV station

Workers remove broken glass from the windows of broadcaster Al-Jadeed's office in Beirut, February 15, 2017. Some 300 people attacked the building the previous night. (Reuters/Mohamed Azakir)

New York, February 15, 2017--Lebanese authorities should immediately investigate yesterday's attack on the independent TV channel Al-Jadeed, bring those responsible to justice, and take steps to ensure the safety of journalists operating in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

February 15, 2017 3:11 PM ET

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Case   |   India

Journalist who alleged corruption beaten in India

A group of assailants in the southeastern Indian town of Chirala on February 5, 2017, beat M Nagarjuna Reddy, a reporter with the Telugu-language monthly magazine Basa, according to his employer, press reports, video, and a memorandum the journalist filed with the Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission in Hyderabad, the state capital, on February 14.

February 15, 2017 2:23 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 12

A court on February 14, 2017, handed columnist Hasan Cemal, seen here at a colleague's funeral in Istanbul on October 30, 2015, a suspended sentence of one year and three months in prison on charges of propagandizing for a terrorist group in one of his columns.

Publisher closes magazine for cartoon lampooning Moses
The publisher of the cartoon magazine GırGır announced today that he was closing down the magazine after its publication of a cartoon depicting Moses irritating his followers wandering in the desert by talking too much and bragging about parting the Red Sea sparked outrage on social media, including from the president's office, news website T24 reported.

Alerts   |   Venezuela

CPJ calls on Venezuela to stop obstructing the foreign press

São Paulo, February 13, 2017--Two Brazilian journalists investigating a continent-wide corruption ring were detained over the weekend in Venezuela, according to press reports. Separately, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced at a rally that he wanted CNN out of the country and accused the network of spreading "fake news," other outlets reported.

February 13, 2017 7:09 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Kazakhstan

Editor arrested in Kazakhstan

New York, February 13, 2017--Kazakh authorities should immediately release Zhanbolat Mamay, editor of the independent newspaper Sayasi kalam/Tribuna, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police arrested Mamay, an outspoken government critic, in the capital Almaty on February 10, on suspicion of money laundering, Kazakh and regional media reported.

February 13, 2017 4:31 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Peru

Assailants try to cut out Peruvian journalist's tongue

New York, February 8, 2017--Peruvian authorities should swiftly bring to justice all those responsible for a brutal attack against broadcast journalist Marco Bonifacio Sánchez, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Unidentified assailants tried to cut off the journalist's tongue as he walked home in the northern Peruvian town of Cajamarca late in the night of February 3, colleagues and friends told CPJ.

February 8, 2017 3:48 PM ET

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Statements   |   Ukraine

Ukraine police see journalism as motive in Pavel Sheremet's murder

Flowers and a portrait of Pavel Sheremet mark the site of the journalist's murder in Kiev, July 20, 2016. (Sergei Chusavkov/AP)

New York, February 8, 2017--Ukrainian investigators' announcement today that they consider Pavel Sheremet's journalism as the most likely motive in his July 2016 murder is a welcome step toward bringing his killers to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov told journalists in Kiev that police believe Sheremet, who wrote for the independent news website Ukrayinska Pravda, was killed in retaliation for his work.

February 8, 2017 12:48 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 5

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan chairs a meeting of the National Security Council in Ankara, January 31, 2017. (Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)

German court upholds partial ban on poem satirizing Erdoğan
A court in the German city of Hamburg today upheld a previous court's ban on comedian Jan Böhmermann's reciting 18 of 24 verses of a poem satirizing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the comedian recited on television last year, according to press reports. Erdoğan pressed insult charges against the comedian.

[February 10, 2017]

Blog   |   Canada

Surveillance of journalists and court orders puts Canada's press freedom at risk

VICE News reporter Ben Makuch is appealing a court order to make him hand over details of his communication with a source. (VICE News)

On February 6, VICE News reporter Ben Makuch is due to appear in court to appeal an order requesting that he hand over details of his communication with a source. The hearing comes ahead of a day of action being planned in Canada for February 25, when press freedom and privacy activists are due to lobby the government over issues including surveillance powers and an anti-terrorism bill.

Statements   |   Ukraine

British photographer wounded in eastern Ukraine

New York, February 3, 2017--British freelance photographer Christopher Nunn was injured last night while covering shelling in the eastern Ukrainian town Avdiivka, according to press reports. "I am alive," the photographer wrote on Twitter after the incident. His translator Vladimir Subotovsky told CPJ today that Nunn was in stable condition after undergoing eye surgery.

February 3, 2017 3:50 PM ET

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Safety Advisories   |   USA

CPJ Safety Advisory: US executive order on immigration

On Friday January 27, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order making significant changes to the country's immigration system. In the week since the order was issued, there has been great uncertainty about how to interpret the changes and how these are being implemented by the U.S. agencies charged with immigration and border protection. Several journalists have reached out to the Committee to Protect Journalists seeking additional clarification about the implications of the order to their work and presence in the United States. In response, CPJ's Emergencies Response Team has issued the following advisory.

February 3, 2017 12:41 PM ET

Alerts   |   USA

BBC journalist questioned by US border agents, devices searched

New York, February 1, 2017--Customs and Border Protection officers should respect the rights of journalists to protect confidential information when subjecting international reporters to screening on their arrival to the U.S., the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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