Alerts   |   China

Chinese reporter dies 10 days after being beaten

New York, December 28, 2010--The death of Sun Hongjie, a senior reporter at the Northern Xinjiang Morning Post, must be fully investigated by regional authorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and by central authorities in Beijing, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Sun died in a hospital in Kuitun today, 10 days after being beaten by several men at a construction site, international news reports said. 

December 28, 2010 1:19 PM ET


Alerts   |   China

CPJ skeptical of official line on Chinese reporter's beating

New York, December 22, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the vicious beating of reporter Sun Hongjie and doubts official reports that the attack occurred because of an online dispute with a social media acquaintance. Sun, a reporter for the Northern Xinjiang Morning Post (known locally at the Beijiang Morning Post) was attacked by a group of six people after he had gone to meet a source at a construction site in the small city of Kuitin on Saturday night, according to international news reports. He was discovered at the site on Sunday morning. The state news agency, Xinhua, has reported that he is brain-dead.
December 22, 2010 3:04 PM ET


Alerts   |   Indonesia

Indonesian editor dead under suspicious circumstances

New York, December 17, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with Indonesian journalist groups in calling for a full and vigorous investigation into the death of an editor on Kisar, one of the eastern Maluku Islands. Alfrets Mirulewan, chief editor of the Pelangi Weekly, was found with bruises on much of his body at 3 a.m. today, according to Indonesian media reports. He had been missing since Tuesday night.

December 17, 2010 2:25 PM ET


Alerts   |   Japan, Thailand

Reuters: Thailand says troops may have killed journalist

New York, December 10, 2010--Investigators in Thailand now believe that troops may have been responsible for the shooting death of Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto, at left, on April 10, according to a leaked preliminary state probe by Thailand's Department of Special Investigation (DSI), Reuters reported from Bangkok today.

Thai government investigators said in the report that the death of Muramoto, a 43-year-old Japanese national based in Tokyo, "was caused by a high-velocity bullet as gunfire flashed from the direction of soldiers." Thailand's government has not released the report into Muramoto's death despite intense diplomatic pressure from Japan.
December 10, 2010 1:28 PM ET


Alerts   |   Cambodia

Cambodia must ensure release of Japanese photographer

New York, December 6, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the government of Cambodia to ensure the release of Japanese photographer Go Takayama. According to the English-language Phnom Penh Post and the online magazine for the National Press Photographers Association, Takayama was arrested on November 23 after photographing a married couple inside a home. Undercover police detained him and he was eventually charged with "producing pornography for the purpose of distributing pornographic content," the Post reported.
December 6, 2010 1:44 PM ET


Alerts   |   Japan, Myanmar

Japanese journalist held by Burmese government

New York, November 8, 2010--Burma must immediately release Toru Yamaji, a reporter with Tokyo-based APF news agency, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Yamaji, 49, was detained Sunday in Myawaddy, on the country's eastern border with Thailand while trying to cover the country's first elections in two decades, according to international media reports, which quoted Japan's embassy in Rangoon. He was flown to the capital after being detained, the embassy was reported as saying.

November 8, 2010 3:26 PM ET


Alerts   |   Vietnam

Another blogger arrested in Vietnam crackdown

Bangkok, October 28, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest and detention of Vietnamese blogger Le Nguyen Huong Tra. Her arrest is the latest episode in a mounting crackdown on bloggers leading up to a crucial Communist Party congress scheduled for January 2011.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Journalists in Pakistan remain under threat

New York, October 25, 2010--Pakistan must take immediate steps to rein in police and government agencies that threaten reporters. Two cases in recent days--those of journalists Hafiz Imran and Umar Cheema--demonstrate how reporting on stories that are critical of the authorities can bring officials' wrath down on reporters.

Alerts   |   China

China seeks to block news of Liu's Nobel


New York, October 8, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Chinese government to end its pointless attempts to block the news by blacking out domestic and foreign media coverage of the Norwegian Nobel Committee's announcement awarding jailed human rights activist Liu Xiaobo the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize

According to foreign news agencies' reports from China, news of the award is almost non-existent in China's media and has been blacked out from international news broadcasts on the BBC and CNN. 

October 8, 2010 3:52 PM ET


Letters   |   Indonesia

CPJ asks Indonesian president to intervene in Playboy case

Dear President Yudhoyono: We are greatly concerned about the case of Erwin Arnada, the editor of Indonesia's defunct version of Playboy magazine, who was sentenced to two years in prison for indecency by the Supreme Court. The court tried the case on an appeal from the attorney general's office in July 2009 and some time after that sentenced Arnada to two years in prison for public indecency for publishing purportedly indecent pictures in a 2006 issue of the magazine. The magazine closed in mid-2007 after printing 10 issues.

September 30, 2010 1:04 PM ET


Alerts   |   Myanmar

Burma's exile media hit by cyber-attacks

Bangkok, September 27, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by cyber-attacks against three exile-run Burma news outlets, Irrawaddy, Mizzima News, and the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB). The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have shut Irrawaddy's main website while temporarily blocking access to Mizzima's site.

September 27, 2010 2:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   Indonesia

CPJ urges Indonesia to reverse Playboy editor's conviction

Playboy Indonesia faced harassment and was able publish only 10 issues. (Reuters/Supri)

New York, September 9, 2010---The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about an Indonesian Supreme Court ruling against Erwin Arnada, editor of the now-dormant Playboy Indonesia. Arnada faces up to two years in jail after prosecutors said recently that they would enforce a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that found the magazine's editor guilty of public indecency, according to news reports.

September 9, 2010 4:33 PM ET


Alerts   |   Pakistan

Men in police uniforms abduct and beat Pakistani journalist

New York, September 8, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Pakistani government to thoroughly investigate the kidnapping and beating of Umar Cheema, a correspondent of the English-language daily The News in Islamabad. Men in police uniforms seized Cheema while he was driving in a suburb of Islamabad on Saturday, according to local and international media reports.
September 8, 2010 12:58 PM ET


Alerts   |   Afghanistan

TV anchor stabbed to death outside his Kabul home

New York, September 7, 2010--A well-known TV anchor was found stabbed to death outside his home in Kabul on Sunday, according to international news reports. Sayed Hamid Noori worked for the state network Radio Television Afghanistan and was active in the National Union of Afghan Journalists. In 2004, he served as the spokesman for an opponent of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and remained allied with political opposition groups.
September 7, 2010 6:25 PM ET


Alerts   |   Afghanistan

Kidnapped Japanese freelancer released in Afghanistan

Tsuneoka arrives in Japan on Tuesday. (Reuters/Kyodo)New York, September 7, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the weekend release of Japanese freelance journalist Kosuke Tsuneoka, who spent more than five months in captivity in Afghanistan.

Tsuneoka's kidnappers released him to the Japanese Embassy on Saturday night and he returned to Japan on Monday, according to local and international news reports. He appeared to be in good health and said he had not been mistreated. He went missing during a reporting trip in a Taliban-controlled region of northern Afghanistan in late March.
September 7, 2010 4:29 PM ET


Alerts   |   Malaysia

Malaysia power firm can't take joke, prosecutes blogger

The Malaysian power company took this blog seriously.

New York, September 2, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Kuala Lumpur to drop a criminal charge against blogger Irwan Abdul Rahman. He was charged today with "intent to hurt" in connection with a satirical entry on his blog, nose4news, that made fun of Malaysia's state-run power company Tenaga, news accounts said.

September 2, 2010 2:15 PM ET


Alerts   |   Philippines

CPJ meets Philippine officials, urges anti-impunity policies

Manila, August 24, 2010--Nine months after the killing of 32 journalists and media workers in the southern Philippines, a delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists met today with justice officials in Manila and called on the government of President Benigno Aquino to address pervasive impunity in the recurring murders of journalists in the country. 

August 24, 2010 10:45 AM ET


Alerts   |   Philippines

Trial date set in Philippines massacre of 57

Manila, August 17, 2010--The opening trial date for 17 men accused of murder and other crimes in the killing of 57 people--32 of them journalists or media workers--in southern Philippines in November 2009 has been set for September 1. Quezon City Regional Trial Court Justice Jocelyn Solis-Reyes set the date in a pre-trial hearing in the Manila suburb of Taguig City, in a secure courtroom at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
August 17, 2010 1:27 PM ET


Alerts   |   Pakistan

Pakistani TV stations remain off the air during floods

New York, August 10, 2010--Pakistan's major news broadcasters ARY TV and GEO TV are off the air in Karachi and Sindh province for a third day since supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of President Asif Ali Zardari have reportedly severed cable connections of the distributors that carry them. Demonstrations at the offices of the distributors and the stations, sometimes violent, continued today. Originally, the two stations were pulled off the air by the cable companies under pressure from party supporters on Saturday night.
August 10, 2010 6:14 PM ET


Alerts   |   Pakistan

Amid massive flooding, Pakistan shuts down two stations

Flood victims await rescue in Pakistan's Punjab province today. (Reuters/Adrees Latif)
New York, August 9, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for the Pakistani government to allow GEO TV and ARY News stations back on the air. The shutdown, coupled with demonstrations by government supporters outside the cable companies’ facilities Saturday night came soon after the stations aired news about a protester throwing shoes at Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari during a speech in England.

According to ARY News’ correspondent Jamal Khan Baluch: “On Saturday evening in Karachi, the staff of President Zardari called cable operators and ordered them to block ARY News transmissions all over Pakistan. When some cable operators refused to do so they started threatening and sent their armed people to different cable operators’ locations, where they started firing towards their offices and their staff.”
August 9, 2010 4:26 PM ET


Alerts   |   China

China sets prison terms for 3 Uighur Web managers

New York, August 2, 2010—Three Uighur-language website managers were sentenced Friday to prison terms of three to 10 years after being found guilty under broad charges of “endangering state security.” The men had been jailed after ethnic rioting in July 2009 in Urumqi, capital of the far-western, predominantly Muslim, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Voice of Asia Network torched in Sri Lanka

New York, July 30, 2010—Two employees were injured in an arson attack today on the offices of the Voice of Asia Network in the heart of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, according to international and local media reports. The fire destroyed the studios of the group’s Siyatha TV station, but the network’s three radio stations have been able to remain on the air.

Alerts   |   Afghanistan, Iran

Afghan MP’s television station pulled off the air

An Afghan MP is accusing President Hamid Karzai, left, of shutting down his TV station under pressure from Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is at right. (AP/Hasan Sarbakhshian)

New York, July 29, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Afghan government to allow privately owned Emroaz TV back on the air, after its owner said it was shut down under pressure from Iran. According to local and international media reports, the station went dark on Tuesday almost immediately after the station's owner, Member of Parliament Najib Kabuli, protested on-air the government’s order to shut the station down. In his address, Kabuli said the Ministry of Information had made a “one-sided decision” under Iran’s influence to silence Emroaz.

July 29, 2010 4:29 PM ET


Alerts   |   China

China sentences Uighur journalist to 15 years

New York, July 26, 2010—The 15-year jail sentence imposed by a Chinese court on Uighur journalist and website manager Gheyrat Niyaz is unjustly harsh and should be overturned immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The fact that Niyaz was convicted under sweeping “endangering state security” charges is an indicator of how far the government will go to silence journalists who speak critically about sensitive issues in the county, CPJ said.
July 26, 2010 2:53 PM ET


Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan journalist’s disappearance remains unexplained

A poster of Eknelygoda.

New York, July 23, 2010—Six months after the unexplained disappearance of Sri Lankan journalist and cartoonist Prageeth Eknelygoda, the government has refused to offer any assistance or provide answers to his wife, Sandhya. The government’s attitude is a clear indicator of the anti-media polices of President Mahindra Rajapaksa, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Eknelygoda, a political reporter and cartoonist for Lanka eNews, disappeared on the night of January 24, two days before the presidential elections that gave the incumbent president a sweeping victory that will keep him power for six more years.

July 23, 2010 3:32 PM ET


Alerts   |   China

Uighur journalist goes on trial in China a year after unrest

New York, July 22, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Chinese government to dismiss charges against Gheyret Niyaz, a Uighur journalist and website manager, and release him from prison. According to the Uyghur American Association (UAA), Niyazi will be tried in Urumqi, the capital of China’s far-western Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region on July 28.

July 22, 2010 2:29 PM ET


Alerts   |   Philippines

Another radio journalist killed in the Philippines

New York, June 16, 2010--Philippine radio commentator Joselito Agustin was fatally shot by two motorcycle riding assailants while heading home from work late Tuesday evening near Baccara town in the northern Philippines, according to local and international news reports. The murder occurred just one day after the murder of radio journalist Desidario Camangyan in southern Mindanao.

June 16, 2010 3:26 PM ET


Letters   |   Philippines

CPJ seeks justice in murders of Philippine journalists

Dear President-elect Aquino: With your recent election to office, we are looking forward to engaging with your administration on press freedom-related issues in the years ahead. It is our particular hope that you will translate your strong electoral mandate into a firm commitment to end the culture of impunity that has resulted in the extraordinarily high number of media killings in the Philippines.

June 9, 2010 12:12 PM ET


Letters   |   Thailand

CPJ calls for Thailand to investigate journalist killings

Dear Prime Minister Abhisit: The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns recent violence against journalists in Thailand, including the shooting deaths of two foreign reporters killed while covering news events. We call on your government to launch independent probes into recent attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Alerts   |   Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, newspaper shut down, editor arrested

New York, June 2, 2010—The Bangladeshi government must fully explain the circumstances that led police to close the Bengali-language, pro-opposition daily Amar Desh based in the capital, Dhaka. Police cited supposed publishing irregularities when they arrested acting editor Mahmudur Rahman early today, news reports said, but the shutdown appears to be politically motivated. 

June 2, 2010 4:40 PM ET


Alerts   |   Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Italy, Kuwait, South Africa, Turkey, Venezuela

Israeli forces detain journalists aboard humanitarian flotilla

New York, June 1, 2010--Israel should immediately release the journalists it detained along with hundreds of peace activists on Monday after Israeli forces stormed a convoy of ships carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. According to international news reports and CPJ interviews, Israeli forces arrested at least 20 journalists aboard the humanitarian flotilla; three have since been released.

Alerts   |   Thailand

CPJ seeks investigation into Thai violence against media

New York, May 20, 2010—As details of violence emerge, the Committee to Protect Journalists called on the Thai government today to investigate the deaths of two journalists who were killed while covering the violence that has wracked Bangkok and other parts of Thailand for three months. It is the government’s duty to instruct military forces to be aware of the presence of journalists in a battle area and ensure their safety, CPJ said.

Alerts   |   Thailand

Italian journalist killed as conditions deteriorate in Thailand

New York, May 19, 2010—Freelance Italian photojournalist Fabio Polenghi was killed and three international journalists were among dozens of people injured today during clashes in Bangkok, according to international news reports. The fighting followed a military operation to clear an area occupied for six weeks by anti-government protesters. Demonstrators attacked and threatened local media outlets for perceived government bias in the ensuing disorder, while officials ordered that TV stations air only government-issued news bulletins, the reports said.
May 19, 2010 3:42 PM ET


Alerts   |   Canada, France, Thailand

Three journalists shot and wounded in Thai demonstrations

New York, May 14, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned about the deteriorating security situation for reporters in Thailand as government forces and anti-government protesters exchange fire in the national capital. Three journalists were shot and injured on Friday when security forces and protesters exchanged fire that resulted in at least seven deaths and more than 100 injuries, according to local and international news reports.
May 14, 2010 3:50 PM ET


Alerts   |   Pakistan

In Pakistan, Sindh journalist’s body found

New York, May 12, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists joins the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in calling for a thorough investigation into the killing of Sindh-based journalist Ghulam Rasool Birhamani. His body was found Monday morning, outside the village of Wahi Pandhi in Sindh province. Both organizations reported that the journalist was kidnapped the evening before his body was discovered.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Video of abducted journalist in Pakistan seeks swap

Adnkronos International

New York, May 11, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by new demands made by a militant group calling itself the Asian Tigers, the captors of freelance journalist Asad Qureshi, left, who has been held in Pakistan since March 26. In a video sent to the Rome-based news agency Adnkronos International today, the kidnappers insisted that Pakistan release at least 160 Islamic militants in exchange for his freedom, according to international news reports. The journalist is being held in Pakistan’s tribal region near the border with Afghanistan.

May 11, 2010 4:48 PM ET


Alerts   |   Pakistan

Another Pakistani TV journalist dies in suicide bombing

New York, April 19, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists is saddened by the death of Azamat Ali Bangash, a correspondent for Saama TV. According to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Bangash was killed in an April 17 suicide bombing while covering food distribution in a refugee camp near Orakzai, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas near the border with Afghanistan. Ali was the second Saama journalists killed in a suicide bombing in two days.

April 19, 2010 4:35 PM ET


Alerts   |   Philippines

Concern as some charges dropped in Philippines killings

Former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., head of the Ampatuan clan, is a suspect in the Maguindanao massacre, along with his son and four other clan members. (Reuters/Joseph Agcaoili)

New York, April 19, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists is dismayed by the Philippine government’s decision to drop murder charges against Zaldy Ampatuan, former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and his uncle, Akmad Ampatuan, former mayor of Mamasapano on the southern island of Mindanao. The move, announced in Manila on Saturday, overruled the Quezon City Regional Court, which is hearing the Maguindanao massacre case. Four other members of the powerful Ampatuan clan continue to face murder charges.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

One cameraman dead, several injured in Quetta bombing

New York, April 16, 2010--At least one Pakistani journalist was killed and others were injured in a suicide bombing at a hospital in Quetta today, according to international news reports. Details are still emerging, and some of the injured are reported to be in critical condition, but Pakistani colleagues tell CPJ that a senior Samaa TV cameraman, Malik Arif, died in the attack. Five other journalists--Noor Elahi Bugti of Samaa TV, Salman Ashraf of Geo TV, Fareed Ahmed of Dunya TV, Khalil Ahmed of Express TV, and Malik Sohail of Aaj TV--were injured.

Alerts   |   Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, concern about journalists held by Taliban

Taponier, left, and Ghesquière. (AFP)
New York, April 14, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the new demands made by a Taliban group that is holding captive two French television journalists, Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier, translator Mohammed Reza, and the group's driver. They were taken in Kapisa province, northeast of Kabul, in December.

April 14, 2010 5:31 PM ET


Alerts   |   Thailand

Reuters cameraman killed in Thai political violence


New York, April 12, 2010The Committee to Protect Journalists is saddened and outraged by the fatal shooting of Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto during armed exchanges between government soldiers and antigovernment protestors on Saturday. Muramoto, left, a Japanese national, was shot in the chest while filming an early-afternoon confrontation and was pronounced dead at a Bangkok hospital, according to local and international news reports.

April 12, 2010 1:45 PM ET


Alerts   |   Thailand

Emergency censorship deepens unrest in Thailand

Troops confront protesters in Bangkok. (Reuters/Sukree Sukplang)

New York, April 9, 2010—The Thai government should restore access to news outlets censored after a state of emergency was declared Wednesday in response to antigovernment protests, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Journalists reporting on the unrest are increasingly vulnerable to physical assault as clashes between protesters and authorities escalate. 

April 9, 2010 3:37 PM ET


Alerts   |   China

Journalists report Yahoo e-mail accounts hacked in China

New York, March 31, 2010—News reports that the Yahoo e-mail accounts of reporters and others in China and Taiwan have been compromised are a reminder that journalists must be vigilant when communicating over the Internet, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ called on Internet companies to reassess their business practices in countries where users’ communications cannot be adequately protected.

March 31, 2010 3:51 PM ET


Letters   |   Philippines

CPJ asks Philippines to investigate threats against journalist

Dear President Arroyo and Chief Justice Puno: We are greatly concerned by the apparent lack of an effective government response to threats made against Marites Danguilan Vitug, one of the Philippines’ senior and most eminent journalists. Vitug said she believes your intervention will serve as a deterrent to whoever is trying to intimidate her, and, hopefully, to those who try to intimidate other journalists in the future.

Alerts   |   Thailand

In Thailand, grenades hit two state television stations

New York, March 29, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns and calls for a thorough investigation into grenade attacks launched against two state-owned television news stations in Thailand. The attacks—one against army-run Channel 5, the other against the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT)—took place Saturday night in the capital, Bangkok

March 29, 2010 1:52 PM ET


Case   |   Singapore, USA

New York Times to pay damages to Singapore’s leaders

The New York Times Co. apologized on March 24, 2010, to Singapore’s prime minister and his two predecessors for a February 15 article that described the island nation’s leaders as a political dynasty, according to international news reports. The company and the article’s author, Philip Bowring, agreed to pay damages of 160,000 Singaporean dollars (US$114,000) in addition to legal costs, the reports said.
March 26, 2010 3:34 PM ET


Case   |   Sri Lanka

Protesters hurl stones, injure four at Sirasa TV

Staffers at Sirasa TV confirmed media reports that about 200 people gathered outside the in-town office of the independent broadcaster and threw stones, breaking windows and injuring staffers on March 22, 2010. Some in the crowd carried posters in Sinhala and English protesting the station’s plan to broadcast a concert by pop singer Akon scheduled for April in the capital city, Colombo. One of the singer’s recent videos had included a statue of the Buddha in the background while poolside partygoers danced in the foreground. Most of Sri Lanka’s ethnic Sinhalese majority are Buddhist. Police were reportedly made a few arrests. 

March 25, 2010 11:13 AM ET


Letters   |   Afghanistan, UK

CPJ calls for UK to investigate Munadi death in rescue

Dear Prime Minister Brown: We last wrote to you on November 5 to urge you to authorize the Ministry of Defence to carry out an investigation into the September 9, 2009, military operation that rescued British-Irish journalist and New York Times correspondent Stephen Farrell and unfortunately led to the death of his Afghan colleague, Sultan Munadi. In our November 5 letter, we offered our condolences on the loss of British Parachute Regiment Cpl. John Harrison, but also pointed out that many questions about the operation remain unanswered. Among them is whether Munadi’s rescue was a central objective, what circumstances existed when he was killed, and why his remains were left behind after British forces withdrew.

March 1, 2010 10:03 AM ET


Attacks on the Press

Attacks on the Press 2009: Preface

In Tehran, journalists faced vague antistate accusations during mass, televised judicial proceedings. (AP) By Fareed Zakaria

Toward the end of his 118-day ordeal inside Tehran’s Evin prison, Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari had a bizarre exchange with his interrogator. Bahari had been held in solitary confinement since his arrest after Iran’s disputed presidential election in June; he had been subjected to near-daily beatings and interrogation sessions that stretched for hours. But his jailers had not been able to prove their accusation that Bahari was a spy for Western intelligence agencies. So they had an ominous-sounding new charge to levy against him: “media espionage.”

February 16, 2010 12:58 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, Pakistan, USA

As fighting surges, so does danger to press

An Afghan police officer aims his weapon at two photographers covering pre-election violence in Kabul. (AFP/Pedro Ugarte)By Bob Dietz

As the United States redeploys forces to Afghanistan, and the Pakistani military moves into the country’s tribal areas, the media face enormous challenges in covering a multifaceted conflict straddling two volatile countries. Pakistani reporters cannot move freely in areas controlled by militants. International reporters in Afghanistan, at risk from kidnappers and suicide bombers, encounter daunting security challenges. And front-line reporters in both countries face pressure from all sides.

Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan

Attacks on the Press 2009: Afghanistan

Top Developments
• Government tries to curb reporting on Election Day violence.
• Abductions target foreign reporters, endangering local journalists, too.

Key Statistic
20: Years that Parwez Kambakhsh would have spent in jail on an unjust charge. He was freed in August.

Deepening violence, flawed elections, rampant corruption, and faltering development provided plenty of news to cover, but the deteriorating national conditions also raised dangers for local and foreign journalists working in Afghanistan. Roadside bombs claimed the life of a Canadian reporter and injured several other international journalists. A series of kidnappings mainly targeted international reporters, but one captive Afghan journalist was killed during a British military mission that succeeded in rescuing his British-Irish colleague.

February 16, 2010 12:52 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Myanmar

Attacks on the Press 2009: Burma

Top Developments
• Some political prisoners freed, but eight journalists still held.
• Government censors all print publications, controls broadcasters.

Key Statistic
1st: Ranking on CPJ's Worst Countries to Be a Blogger.

Throughout the year, Burma's ruling junta emphasized its plans to move toward multiparty democracy after decades of military rule, a long-promised transition that dissidents and others viewed as a sham to further consolidate the military's power. As the country geared up for general elections in 2010--the first since the military annulled the 1990 elections, which were won overwhelmingly by the political opposition--authorities maintained strict censorship over the local news media and held at least nine journalists behind bars.

February 16, 2010 12:45 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   China

Attacks on the Press 2009: China

Top Developments
• More access for foreign reporters, tighter rules for local assistants.
• As online use grows, government censors sites, jails critics.

Key Statistic
24: Journalists jailed as of December 1, 2009.

While China’s ruling communist party celebrated 60 years in power in 2009, its critics commemorated antigovernment movements in Tibet in 1949 and Tiananmen Square in 1989. Government agencies used a security apparatus strengthened for the 2008 Olympics to restrict dissenting voices during all three landmark anniversaries.

February 16, 2010 12:44 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Nepal

Attacks on the Press 2009: Nepal

Top Developments
• Government fails to investigate press freedom abuses.
• Reporter slain after covering Maoist land seizures.

Key Statistic
8th: Ranking on CPJ Impunity Index, making it one of world’s worst for press.

Nepal’s news media entered 2009 in a state of crisis. Attacks on the press had escalated in late 2008 amid a climate of impunity. The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), a local press freedom group, led weeklong, nationwide demonstrations to raise awareness about the deteriorating environment. On December 28, 2008, Maoist leaders signed a 10-point agreement to address the lawless situation. Clauses included a promise to create a governmental bureau to investigate press freedom violations, local news reports said.

February 16, 2010 12:24 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   North Korea

Attacks on the Press 2009: North Korea

Top Developments
• Two U.S. journalists held for five months after crossing border.
• Citizen reporters begin to smuggle news out of the country.

Key Statistic
1st: Ranking on CPJ’s list of Most Censored Nations.

During a diplomatic standoff that lasted almost five months, two American journalists from San Francisco-based Current TV were arrested, tried, pardoned, and released. Charged with illegally crossing the border from China on March 17, they had been sentenced to 20 years of “reform through hard labor” after a closed-door trial, according to the official Korea Central News Agency.

February 16, 2010 12:21 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Pakistan

Attacks on the Press 2009: Pakistan

Top Developments
• Press has very limited access during two military offensives.
• Reporters face attacks, threats from all sides. Four are killed.

Key Statistic
6: Homes of journalists destroyed by militants in retaliatory attacks.

As Pakistan’s military launched two major offensives within its borders, officials pressured news media to report favorably on the conflicts while the Taliban and other militants threatened and attacked critical reporters. Reporters for Urdu- and Pashto-language news outlets came under the greatest pressure because of their wider influence among Pakistanis. Journalists who opted to embed with the military said they were forced to comply with heavy-handed restrictions on what they were allowed to see and report.

February 16, 2010 12:20 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Philippines

Attacks on the Press 2009: Philippines

Top Developments
• Maguindanao massacre underscores deep-seated climate of impunity.
• Local and international groups mobilize to offer aid, seek justice.

Key Statistic
29: Journalists slain in a politically motivated ambush, the single deadliest event ever recorded by CPJ.

In the deadliest event for the press ever recorded by CPJ, 29 journalists and two media support workers were ambushed and brutally slain on November 23 as they traveled in Maguindanao province with a convoy of people who intended to file gubernatorial candidacy papers for a local politician. In all, 57 people were killed in a shocking display of barbarism apparently motivated by political clan rivalries. The bodies were dumped in mass graves in a remote clearing in the town of Ampatuan.

Attacks on the Press   |   Sri Lanka

Attacks on the Press 2009: Sri Lanka

Top Developments
• Editor murdered, broadcaster bombed, reporters assaulted.
• Columnist convicted of terrorism for his writing.

Key Statistic
0: Number of convictions in 10 journalist murders since 1992.

On May 19, the government formally declared a victory in its 26-year civil war with the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which had claimed territory for an ethnic Tamil homeland. Victory came at a high price for the press. Escalating attacks on independent journalists coincided with the government’s 2006 decision to pursue an all-out military victory, CPJ found in a February special report, “Failure to Investigate.” Ethnic Tamil journalists seen by the government as supporting independence had long been under murderous assault, but physical and verbal attacks on Sinhalese and Muslim journalists critical of the government’s military operations began accelerating in 2006 as well. These attacks—which in 2009 included a murder, a bombing, and several assaults—occurred with complete impunity.

Attacks on the Press   |   Thailand

Attacks on the Press 2009: Thailand

Top Developments
• Amid partisan conflict, media owner is target of failed assassination.
• Heavily used lese majeste laws criminalize criticism of royal family.

Key Statistic
2,000: Web sites blocked by government for violating lese majeste laws.

Thai media were caught in the middle of a political conflict that entered its fourth year of destabilizing antigovernment street demonstrations and tough government responses. Both sides in the conflict—supporters and opponents of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra—threatened journalists, some of whom were openly aligned to factions taking part in the protest movements.

February 16, 2010 12:13 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2009: Vietnam

Top Developments
• Bloggers face regular harassment and detention.
• Government conducts extensive online censorship.

Key Statistic
300: Number of cybercafés outfitted with software tracking visits to banned Web sites.

While maintaining its tight grip on traditional news media, the government intensified its already significant controls over the Internet with new restrictions on content and heightened monitoring of the blogs that have emerged as an alternative source of news and commentary. Internet penetration continued to surge, with an estimated 22 million users among the country’s approximately 89 million people, according to Ministry of Information and Telecommunications statistics.

February 16, 2010 12:06 AM ET


Alerts   |   Vietnam

Amid crackdown, two blogs shuttered in Vietnam

New York, February 12, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Vietnamese government’s apparent shutdown of two politically oriented blogs, Blogosin and Bauxite Vietnam. The sites, both of which published critical perspectives on sensitive government issues, had been the targets of ongoing hacking, The Associated Press and the Agence France-Presse reported.

February 12, 2010 2:26 PM ET


Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Two journalists missing in Sri Lanka

New York, February 11, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the disappearance of two journalists in Sri Lanka. Chandana Sirimalwatte, chief editor of the Sri Lankan weekly newspaper Lanka, was detained by police around noon on January 30, according to his wife, Hemali Abeyratne, and staffers at the paper. Lanka e News journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda has been missing since January 24.

Alerts   |   Nepal

CPJ calls for an end to impunity following Nepalese murder

New York, February 10, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with its colleague in the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) in demanding an end to the impunity surrounding attacks on journalists in Nepal. The FNJ made the demands today in Kathmandu during a protest rally that came two days after the shooting death of Jamim Shah, the chairman of the Nepalese television station and satellite network Space Time Network.

February 10, 2010 2:09 PM ET


Alerts   |   Philippines

CPJ welcomes indictment of 200 in Maguindanao slaying

New York, February 9, 2010—An indictment in the Philippines of nearly 200 people in the November 23 killings of 57 people, including 32 journalists and media workers, is a welcome first step toward achieving justice in this terribly slaying, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ hopes that this signals a coming reversal in the country’s abysmal record of impunity.

February 9, 2010 2:32 PM ET


Statements   |   Philippines

Conviction welcomed in 2005 murder case

We issued the following statement today after a Philippine court sentenced Muhammad Maulana to life in prison for the murder of journalist Edgar Amoro. Amoro witnessed the killing of his fellow Pagadian City-based broadcaster, Edgar Damalerio, in May 2002. In December 2005, a police officer, Guillermo Wapile, was sentenced to life in prison for gunning down Damalerio...

January 29, 2010 2:49 PM ET


Alerts   |   China

China hackers hit media companies and activists online

New York, January 13, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern today after Google said Tuesday it had uncovered evidence of cyber attackers from China targeting its own and other companies’ infrastructures, as well as individual Gmail accounts. CPJ welcomed Google’s statement that it was no longer willing to censor its Chinese search engine,, in light of the discovery.

January 13, 2010 5:23 PM ET


Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Journalists under threat as Sri Lanka elections near

New York, January 13, 2010—As Sri Lanka’s media comes under increasing partisan pressure, the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on all sides contesting the January 26 general elections to respect the role of journalists in covering the campaign and voting process. CPJ notes with concern today’s assault on the BBC’s Sinhala service reporter who, according to Sri Lankan media reports, was hospitalized after a political mob, apparently linked to supporters of an agriculture minster, attacked her as she was covering the event.

January 13, 2010 3:34 PM ET


Alerts   |   Afghanistan, UK

Casualties of foreign journalists mount in Afghanistan

New York January 11, 2010—The death of U.K.-based Sunday Mirror reporter Rupert Hamer, who was killed in an explosion outside a village in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, is an indicator of the rising danger for journalists in Afghanistan. The explosion also wounded Hamer’s colleague photographer Philip Coburn and took the life of a U.S. Marine.

January 11, 2010 3:02 PM ET


Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

CPJ calls for full pardon of Tissainayagam in Sri Lanka

New York, January 11, 2010 — The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release on bail of Sri Lankan journalist J.S. Tissainayagam on Monday in Colombo, but calls on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to use his constitutional power to extend a full pardon and erase the 20 year sentence of “rigorous imprisonment” that was handed down in August.

On November 24, CPJ honored Tissainayagam with one of its annual International Press Freedom Awards, recognizing his courageous journalism in a country where the media is under siege. 

Alerts   |   Philippines

Radio journalist survives shooting in Philippines

New York, January 8, 2010—Philippine authorities must quickly investigate the shooting of radio broadcaster Eugene Paet, an anchorman for Radio DWRS in Vigan city in Ilocos Sur province. According to local and international media reports, Paet, 47, was shot in the stomach by two gunmen on a motorcycle as he was on his way to work on Thursday evening. Paet remained in serious condition in the intensive care unit of a local hospital on Friday evening.

Alerts   |   Afghanistan, France

Five missing, apparently kidnapped in Afghanistan

New York, January 4, 2010The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the fate of two French journalists and their three Afghan colleagues, all apparently kidnapped while on assignment in the eastern province of Kapisa for France 3 public television station. The Afghan government reported them kidnapped on December 30. The names of the crew have not been released by the Afghan or French governments, and France 3 has declined to publicly identify them. CPJ was unable to reach the station immediately for comment.

January 4, 2010 3:25 PM ET


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