Asia

2011


Statements   |   Pakistan

CPJ supports Pakistani journalists facing threats

Sethi at CPJ offices earlier this year. (CPJ/Sheryl A. Mendez)

New York, December 29, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists admires and supports the decision of Pakistani journalists Najam Sethi and Jugnu Mohsin to make public the threats that have driven them at times to live outside their country in recent months. Sethi and Mohsin are returning to their home in Lahore and are determined to continue their independent work in the media. They, like other journalists in Pakistan in recent weeks, have opted to openly confront those making the threats, which have come from both state and non-state actors.

December 29, 2011 12:27 PM ET

Tags:

Letters   |   Pakistan

Pakistan should release investigation into 2006 death

Dear President Zardari: This week marks the six-year anniversary of the abduction of journalist Hayatullah Khan. We join his family in asking your government to release the report on the investigation into his death that was prepared by High Court Justice Mohammed Reza Khan in September 2006 under the orders of former President Pervez Musharraf.

December 6, 2011 4:46 PM ET

Tags:

Statements   |   Pakistan

CPJ calls on Pakistan to unblock BBC World News

New York, November 30, 2011--The All Pakistan Cable Operators Association must immediately unblock the BBC World News television channel in Pakistan, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Operators began censoring the channel Tuesday in response to a documentary they considered "anti-Pakistan," and threatened to pull other foreign news channels, the BBC said.

November 30, 2011 2:38 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Afghanistan

Planners conference must strengthen Afghan media

New York, November 29, 2011--When delegates from more than 100 countries and international aid organizations meet in Bonn on December 5 at an international conference on Afghanistan's future, they must alter their tactics and aim more to support the professionalization and safety training of the country's emerging press corps, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday. Though Afghan media outlets have expanded rapidly in the post-Taliban-rule era, journalists need to be better trained and must know how to survive the threats and dangers that are part of their daily lives in order to ensure that the country's fragile democracy has robust media.

November 29, 2011 5:55 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bangladesh

Bangladeshi editor rearrested on same day he's released

New York, November 10, 2011--A Bangladeshi editor was rearrested on the same day he was released on bail, as he was leaving the gate of the prison, news reports said. 

Police detained Ekramul Haque, editor of Sheershanews website and Sheersha Kagoj weekly, on extortion charges on July 31. On October 25, the High Court in the country's capital, Dhaka, granted the journalist bail, and he was released on November 1. But he was arrested again at the gate of the jail as he was leaving, news website bdnews24 reported. 

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan government to impose guidelines on media

President Rajapaksa's government is imposing new guidelines on the Sri Lankan media. (Reuters)

New York, November 10, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the Sri Lankan government's announcement of an upcoming set of guidelines and code of conduct for journalists and media organizations, and believes these regulations will only increase the government's control of the media.

The announcement, which appeared Thursday in the government-owned Daily News, said the government would "soon introduce a set of guidelines and a code of conduct for media to be adhered to by all media institutions and media persons in the country." The announcement also stated that the government would set up the guidelines, which would be enforced under the relevant laws.

November 10, 2011 1:37 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Pakistan

In Pakistan, missing journalist found dead

New York, November 7, 2011--The body of missing Pakistani journalist Javed Naseer Rind was found on Saturday morning in Khuzdar, 186 miles (300 kilometers) south of the city of Quetta, local and international news reports said. The journalist had been shot multiple times in the head and chest, and his body showed multiple signs of torture, the local media reported. 

November 7, 2011 3:45 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Thailand

Thailand tries to censor site devoted to flood news

Floodwaters have reached Bangkok. (AP/Sakchai Lalit)

Bangkok, October 25, 2011 - The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government has tried to censor the citizen-journalist website Thaiflood, which has provided crucial news and information about massive flooding that has inundated one-third of the country's provinces. At least 350 people have been killed and millions dislocated by the natural disaster.  

October 25, 2011 2:22 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, anti-government website blocked

New York, October 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that access to anti-government news website Lanka eNews has been blocked inside Sri Lanka, according to the site's exiled editor and users inside the country. All three language versions of the site, English, Sinhala, and Tamil, have not been available since Tuesday. 

October 19, 2011 2:21 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Philippines

Philippine journalist's daughter kidnapped

Bangkok, September 23, 2011--Philippine authorities should launch an investigation into the abduction of radio commentator Louie Larroza's daughter, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Larroza told reporters the kidnapping was a "warning" for his radio broadcasts, news reports said. The journalist's daughter, unharmed, was freed eight hours later.

September 23, 2011 2:28 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Malaysia

CPJ welcomes Malaysian reform vow

Prime Minister Najib Razak promises legal reforms. (Reuters)

Bangkok, September 16, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's vow to abolish the Printing Presses and Publishing Act, and urges his administration to follow through with additional press freedom-related reforms.

On Thursday, during an Independence Day national address, Najib vowed to dismantle two harsh security-related laws--the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance--and ease legal restrictions on civil liberties, including the right to assembly, international press reports said. He has also vowed to abolish the Printing Presses and Publications Act so that newspapers do not have to reapply annually for permission to publish. The Home Ministry previously had sole discretion over whether to renew newspapers' operating licenses, and its often arbitrary decisions could not be legally appealed.

September 16, 2011 12:37 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Myanmar

Burmese journalist given additional 10-year sentence

Bangkok, September 15, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the 10-year jail sentence handed down to Burmese journalist Sithu Zeya, a photographer with the Norway-based, exile-run Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), and calls on the government to reverse the ruling and stop its retaliation against exile-affiliated journalists.

September 15, 2011 1:11 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Afghanistan

ISAF takes responsibility for Afghan journalist's death

(AFP)
New York, September 8, 2011--The International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan said today that one of its soldiers was responsible for the July 28 death of a local journalist working for the BBC Afghanistan service and the Pajhwok Afghan News agency. The ISAF soldier, an American, told authorities that he thought Ahmed Omaid Khpalwak was an insurgent reaching for a bomb under his vest, and shot him dead, an ISAF statement said.

Khpalwak, 25, died in violence between insurgents and security forces when gunmen and suicide bombers targeted the governor's office and police headquarters in Tarin Kot, capital of Uruzgan province in central Afghanistan.

September 8, 2011 5:21 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Malaysia, Somalia

AU must act after journalist is killed in Somalia

Malaysian cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd is the 35th journalist killed in direct relation to his work in Somalia. (Bernama)

New York, September 5, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the African Union to ensure the safety of civilians operating in Somalia after witnesses reported that AU forces fired on a Malaysian humanitarian convoy in Mogadishu on Friday, killing one journalist and injuring another. Calling the shootings "deeply regrettable," the African Union Mission in Somalia said in a statement that it has undertaken an investigation and would publicize its findings.

September 5, 2011 10:13 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Nepal

Nepali journalist assaulted, in critical condition

New York, August 12, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern today about a brutal attack on journalist Kishor Budhathoki in eastern Nepal on Thursday night. Budhathoki is vice president of the local chapter of press freedom watchdog the Federation of Nepali Journalists and also reports for sister papers The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post.

August 12, 2011 3:12 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

Chinese TV producer suspended for crash reportage

Wreckage from the July 23 train crash. (Reuters)

New York, August 2, 2011--The suspension of a state television producer for his coverage of last week's fatal train crash sends a disturbing message to Chinese media outlets, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Information authorities intensified media restrictions at the end of last week in an effort to restrain the unusually probing media treatment of the July 23 disaster. But their initial propaganda directives were widely ignored and the railway ministry's response to the crash launched a flood of online criticism.

August 2, 2011 4:11 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

New attempts to rein in train crash coverage in China

New York, August 1, 2011--Chinese propaganda authorities renewed their orders to media groups late Friday not to report on last week's train crash or its aftermath after their initial bans on coverage were widely disregarded, according to international news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists said today that popular outcry in China at the crash is a sign that propaganda orders cannot suppress public opinion.

August 1, 2011 4:46 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Vietnam

Journalists detained, released in Vietnam clampdown

Bangkok, July 11, 2011--Authorities must stop harassing journalists reporting on public demonstrations in Vietnam, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On Sunday, police detained and interrogated three reporters who were covering anti-China protests in Hanoi where around a dozen demonstrators were arrested.    

Alerts   |   Thailand

Media targeted in Thai political transition

PAD protesters take to the streets in Bangkok on Friday on the final day of campaigning for Sunday's election. (AP/David Longstreath)

Bangkok, July 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the raid and seizure of broadcasting equipment by police at six community radio stations in Thailand's northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province. The raids were staged two days after caretaker Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's government lost to the opposition Peua Thai party in general elections held on July 3. 

July 7, 2011 1:38 PM ET

Tags:

Statements   |   Afghanistan, France

French journalists released in Afghanistan

New York, June 29, 2001--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes reports from the French government that journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier and their interpreter Reza Din have been released after more than 18 months in captivity. CPJ is seeking further news about the group's fixer and driver, known as Ghulam and Sattar, who were also abducted.

Alerts   |   Indonesia

Playboy Indonesia editor acquitted of indecency

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

New York,  June 23, 2011--Jailed Indonesian publisher Erwin Arnada was acquitted by the Supreme Court Wednesday of the public indecency charges against him, according to local and international media reports. Arnada was also the editor of the now-dormant Playboy Indonesia, which had appeared for six issues on Indonesia's newsstands in 2006.  

June 23, 2011 5:35 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

Amid jail releases, Chinese journalist's sentence extended

New York, June 23, 2011--Authorities in Shandong should overturn a second prison sentence handed down to freelance journalist Qi Chonghuai just days before the end of his term, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two of three Chinese journalists scheduled for release this month are out of jail. Artist Ai Weiwei was unexpectedly freed from extrajudicial detention on Wednesday

Alerts   |   China

China releases artist Ai Weiwei, questions remain

New York, June 22, 2011--Artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei's release from prison leaves questions unanswered about his illegal detention and other missing activists and journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The whereabouts of Ai's associate, freelance journalist Wen Tao, missing since April 3 and presumed detained, is still unknown.

June 22, 2011 5:02 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Pakistan reporter beaten for reporting on earlier attack

New York, June 20, 2011--Waqar Kiani, a Pakistani journalist who was assaulted Saturday night by men in police uniforms, told the Committee to Protect Journalists that he fears for his safety and the safety of his wife and two young children. The attack came five days after Kiani, 32, had written a story the U.K. Guardian newspaper about being abducted and tortured in 2008.

June 20, 2011 5:22 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Wounded Pakistani journalist succumbs to burn injuries

New York, June 17, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with our colleagues in Pakistan in mourning the death of of reporter Shafiullah Khan, who died Friday of injuries he had sustained in a June 11 suicide bombing in Peshawar, the administrative center for Pakistan's strife-torn Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the border with Afghanistan. 

June 17, 2011 4:23 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Nepal

Two sentenced in Nepal journalist's murder

A man holds a photo of Singh. (Reuters)
New York, June 14, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed today the conviction of two suspects in the 2009 murder of journalist Uma Singh, but called for a continued investigation into the remaining suspects in the attack. 

A court in Dhanusa district sentenced Lalita Singh and Nemlal Paswan to life imprisonment for their involvement in the brutal killing, according to local news reports. A group stabbed the Janakpur Today and Radio Janakpur correspondent to death in her home in Dhanusa, in the southeast near the border with India, in reprisal for her reporting on land grabs, according to CPJ research. News reports at the time said as many as 15 people carried out the fatal assault.

Alerts   |   Philippines

Second Philippine journalist killed from same radio station

New York, June 13, 2011 -- Romeo Olea, a provincial radio commentator in the Philippines, was shot dead on his way to work Monday morning. Local and international media reports, quoting police sources, say Olea was shot twice in the back while riding his motorcycle to work in Iriga City in Camarines Sur province, about 480 miles (300 kilometers) from Manila.

June 13, 2011 6:13 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Two journalists dead and five injured in Pakistan

EDITOR'S NOTE: Shafiullah Khan is in critical condition after suffering extensive burns in this Peshawar bombing. CPJ erroneously reported in this alert that Khan had died in the attack.

New York, June 13, 2011--CPJ calls on Pakistan media organizations to review their security and journalist safety training procedures to address the mounting number of deaths of journalists in the field. Two journalists died and five more were injured in a double bombing in Peshawar on Saturday night. The explosions took the lives of 36 people in all.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Pakistani journalists threatened after covering killings

New York, June 10, 2011--Two Pakistani journalists who captured images of apparent military violence against unarmed foreigners and a local man are being threatened, their colleagues told CPJ. The threats have come amid calls from high-ranking Pakistani military leaders to quell public criticism of their policies, made at a Thursday meeting of top level commanders. 

June 10, 2011 3:59 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan journalist missing for 500 days

A missing poster for Eknelygoda.

New York, June 8, 2011--It has been exactly 500 days since Sri Lankan journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda disappeared. He has not been seen by his wife Sandhya Eknelygoda or by the couple's two teenage sons, Sanjay and Harith, since he left for work around 7:30 a.m., on the morning of January 24, 2010. Sandhya filed a complaint with the local police office at 11:30 a.m. the next day but so far no government official has given her information about her husband's whereabouts. His family and colleagues at the Lanka eNews website where he worked have no idea what has become of Eknelygoda.

June 8, 2011 5:36 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, religious threat to media intensifies

New York, June 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect journalists is disturbed by the June 1 declaration by Afghanistan's Ulema Shurab, or the Council of Religious Scholars, criticizing two media outlets, Hasht-e-Subh Daily newspaper and Tolo Television, for what it reportedly called "immorality" and "animosity against Islam," according to Afghan media owners. The council is a powerful force in Afghan politics and meets frequently with President Hamid Karzai to advise him on religious and cultural affairs.

June 7, 2011 5:05 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Prominent journalist dies in targeted killing in Pakistan

Syed Saleem Shahzad, right, with Pakistani journalist Qamar Yousafzai at the Afghan border in 2006. The two had been detained for several days by the Taliban. (AP/ Shah Khalid)

New York, May 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed and angered by the targeted killing of senior Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan bureau chief of the Asia Times online website. Shahzad, considered an expert on Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, disappeared on Sunday night as he was on his way to participate in a talk show on Dunya Television, media reports said. His body, showing signs of torture, was later found outside Islamabad, according to local and international media reports.

Alerts   |   India

Indian reporter arrested for story on weapons storage

New York, May 20, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with our colleagues in India in condemning the arrest of Tarakant Dwivedi, who writes under the pen name Akela, under India's Official Secrets Act. According to local media reports, Dwivedi was arrested Tuesday by the Government Railway Police and charged with criminal trespass. He will be held in police custody until Saturday. 

May 20, 2011 5:02 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

Media memorializing Sichuan earthquake censored

New York, May 13, 2011--Amid a harsh media crackdown, Chinese authorities censored discussion of the May 12, 2008, Sichuan earthquake anniversary that referenced independent investigations into the damage, according to international news reports. CPJ interviewed filmmaker Alison Klayman about activists imprisoned for documenting official negligence which contributed to the destruction, including detained artist Ai Weiwei, to mark the anniversary. 

May 13, 2011 4:13 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Philippines

Philippine court bids to gag massacre trial scrutiny

Former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., head of the Ampatuan clan, is a suspect in the Maguindanao massacre. (Reuters/Joseph Agcaoili)

Bangkok, May 12, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by an appeals court resolution in the Philippines that threatens to curb outside scrutiny of legal proceedings against suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, in which 32 journalists and media practitioners were systematically shot and murdered. 

May 12, 2011 4:09 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Pakistan

A week after Pakistan justice pledge, journalist murdered

New York, May 10, 2011--The death of a journalist apparently targeted by militants in Pakistan today highlights the country's entrenched climate of impunity for anti-press attacks, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari told a CPJ delegation on World Press Freedom Day that he would pursue justice for journalists killed on the job.

May 10, 2011 5:41 PM ET

Tags:

Statements   |   Pakistan

Pakistan must allow live foreign broadcasts

Karachi, May 8, 2011--Pakistan's decision tonight to not allow foreign broadcasters to continue to do live transmissions from Abbottabad must be rescinded immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today from Karachi.

"It is reckless for Pakistan to interfere with the flow of information from the site of what is one of the world's most important news stories. Falling back on regulatory controls to stifle the flow of news is short sighted and does a disservice to the entire world. The government must back away from this decision immediately," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator. Dietz had been part of a CPJ team in Pakistan for meetings earlier this week with President Asif Ali Zardari and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Pakistan vows to pursue justice in journalist murders

The murder of journalist Hayatullah Khan, seen here in 2005, is just one of many Pakistani killings surrounded in mystery. (CPJ)

Islamabad, Pakistan, May 3, 2011--Pakistan's president committed to pursue justice for journalists killed in the line of duty, pledging to take steps to reverse the country's rising record of impunity. A delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists met with President Asif Ali Zardari today to discuss the growing number of targeted attacks on journalists in Pakistan and urged him to ensure that journalists are free to report on sensitive issues. The president's commitment, made on World Press Freedom Day, will be monitored by CPJ and national press freedom groups.

May 3, 2011 12:17 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Another journalist targeted in Karachi as violence surges

Pakistani journalists demonstrated in January after the killing of TV reporter Wali Khan Babar in Karachi. (AP/Shakil Adil)

New York, April 21, 2011--An outburst of violence took the lives of at least 20 people in a bomb blast and targeted attacks in Karachi on Wednesday and Thursday. The huge port city of more than 13 million people is caught in a gangland-style turf war made worse by sectarian and political conflict, according to media reports.

Alerts   |   Malaysia

Ahead of election, cyber-attacks cripple online media

Bangkok, April 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by cyber-attacks against three news and commentary sites that preceded Saturday's important election in Malaysia's Sarawak state, on the island of Borneo. The country's main news portal Malaysiakini,  Sarawak Report, and the Malay and English versions of the opposition Harakahdaily website all reported similar attacks. Nobody has taken responsibility for them.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Arrests made in Pakistani journalist's January murder

New York, April 8, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes movement in the case of the murder of Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar in Karachi, and calls for a full prosecution to break a longstanding pattern of impunity in journalist murders in Pakistan. Police arrested five men they say carried out the killing in January. 

April 8, 2011 3:16 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

U.S. should press China on rights crackdown, Ai detention

New York, April 7, 2011--With China in the midst of a sweeping crackdown on public dissent, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should follow the example of Britain and Germany and call for the immediate release of detained artist and social critic Ai Weiwei and other detained journalists and dissidents, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The two countries' foreign ministries have each urged China to release Ai, according to Reuters.

Alerts   |   China

European Parliament must speak out on China abuses

New York, April 6, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on members of the European Parliament to strongly criticize the Chinese government's apparent detention of artist and social activist Ai Weiwei. The European Parliament is convening an emergency debate Thursday on Ai's disappearance, which may be the latest unlawful detention in the government's onslaught against its critics. 

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Diplomatic corps must act to free ailing Sri Lankan journalist

New York, March 31, 2001--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the international diplomatic community in Colombo to help secure the release of Lanka eNews website News Editor Bennet Rupasinghe. According to colleagues in Colombo and international news reports, Rupasinghe was arrested by police after responding to a summons. He was called to give a statement about allegedly threatening a brother of a suspect who is in custody over the arson attack on the site's office on January 31.

March 31, 2011 4:56 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

Mainstream journalists also targeted in China crackdown

Peng Xiaoyun reported her dismissal on Twitter.

New York, March 30, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the dismissal of two Guangzhou-based journalists who advocate for political reform amid tightening restrictions on free expression. While several bloggers and activists have disappeared or been detained in the last month after anonymous calls for demonstrations in support of political reform were published online, journalists in traditional media are now also being targeted, CPJ said.  

Alerts   |   Australia, Myanmar

Australian editor released on bail, faces trial in Burma

New York, March 29, 2011--Ross Dunkley, founder and editor of the Myanmar Times weekly newspaper, was released on bail from a Burmese prison today, according to international news reports. Dunkley, an Australian citizen arrested February 10 amid tense negotiations over the future of the weekly, had been denied several earlier requests for release on bail. 

March 29, 2011 12:31 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

Online writer indicted, another missing in China

New York, March 28, 2011--Police indicted one online writer on anti-state charges in Sichuan today and another disappeared in Guangzhou on Sunday, according to international news reports. Both cases appear part of the Chinese Communist Party's strenuous efforts to suppress their critics and pre-empt a "Jasmine Revolution" in China, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  

Alerts   |   Thailand

Thailand dismisses role in Reuters photographer's death

Reuters

New York, March 24, 2011--A Thai police investigation concluded today that government security forces did not kill Reuters photographer Hiro Muramoto, left, during political violence in Bangok on April 10, 2010. But the Committee to Protect Journalists, expressing concerns that the investigation was not transparent, has called for a full, independent investigation into the Japanese journalist's death.

March 24, 2011 3:55 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

Beijing censors AIDS site after claim of cover-up

New York, March 17, 2011--Beijing information officials should allow Aizhi, the official website of the AIDS rights group Aizhixing Research Foundation, to resume operations, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Authorities ordered the site shut down on Tuesday after it had published an open letter from a retired senior official concerning news restrictions placed on a 20th-century public health scandal.

March 17, 2011 4:12 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Indonesia

CPJ disturbed by acquittal in Indonesian journalist's death

New York, March 10, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is dismayed by a provincial court's decision in Indonesia to acquit three accused killers of TV journalist Ridwan Salamun. On Wednesday, a panel of judges in the Tual District Court in Maluku declared the three men not guilty of the reduced charge of "persecution" in the mob violence in which Salamun was killed while covering a community clash in Fiditin village.

March 10, 2011 5:05 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

Uighur website editor sentenced in secret in China

New York, March 10, 2011--The secret sentencing of a Uighur website editor emerged this week, eight months after he was tried along with other journalists and dissidents charged in the 2009 unrest in northwestern Xinjiang, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Alerts   |   Philippines

Accused Maguindanao mastermind may go free

Zaldy Ampatuan (AP)
New York, March 8, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is worried that a special five-judge panel named by the Philippines Court of Appeal in Manila will free the suspected mastermind behind the Maguindanao massacre, or release him on a technicality. Lawyers for Zaldy Ampatuan, the former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, have entered a plea for the charges against their client to be dropped.
March 8, 2011 4:26 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Media rights groups to U.N.: Intervene in Sri Lanka case

A missing poster for Eknelygoda.

New York, March 8, 2011--Five prominent media rights organizations sent a letter on Monday to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, calling on the U.N. to intervene in the case of Prageeth Eknelygoda, the Sri Lankan columnist and cartoonist for the Lanka eNews website, who disappeared on January 24, 2010. Since then, the letter notes, his wife, Sandhya Eknelygoda, has been asking the Sri Lankan government for any information about his fate. She has been given no word from any person in the government. Eknelygoda's disappearance and his wife's efforts on his behalf have been widely reported in Sri Lankan and international media.

March 8, 2011 10:07 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

CPJ calls on China to stop inhibiting international press

New York, March 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists rejects statements by a Chinese government official that international reporters are not being detained, attacked, and harassed in China. CPJ calls on the police to end their anti-media attempts to stop foreign journalists from reporting on possible anti-government demonstrations in what has become known as the "Jasmine Revolution." Instead, they should act in accordance with Chinese government regulations which protect their right to work freely in China, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Alerts   |   China

Foreign journalists detained in China's 'Jasmine' protests

New York, February 28, 2011--Chinese security officials' concerted attack on the foreign press in a busy commercial street near Tiananmen Square in Beijing Sunday is a return to the restrictions international reporters faced before they were eased in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.   

Alerts   |   Thailand

Concerns of Thai whitewash in killing of Reuters' Muramoto

Reuters
Bangkok, February 28, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by inconsistencies in Thailand's official investigation into the killing of Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto, who was killed by gunfire while covering clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces last April 10 in Bangkok.

Thailand's Department of Special Investigation told reporters today that its investigations showed that Muramoto was apparently not shot by security forces. The findings contradict the state agency's preliminary conclusions about the journalist's death released and reported by news agencies late last year. Those findings indicated the shots that hit Muramoto came from a direction where troops were positioned at the time and were fired from an M-16 assault rifle. The agency denied it had been pressured to clear the army of responsibility.
February 28, 2011 4:23 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

China detains, censors bloggers on 'Jasmine Revolution'

New York, February 25, 2011--China's censors tightened Internet controls and security officials harassed and detained writers and activists in the wake of an online appeal for a "Jasmine Revolution" in China, according to international human rights groups and news reports. The apparent crackdown came in advance of two top legislative meetings, the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, scheduled for March.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Journalist gunned down in Pakistan's violent Baluchistan

New York, February 22, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in calling for an investigation into the  drive-by shooting death of Abdost Rind, a 27-year-old part-time journalist in the Turbat area of Baluchistan province in Pakistan's southwest on February 18.

February 22, 2011 2:57 PM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2010: Asia Analysis

Partisan Journalism and the Cycle of Repression

With journalists in their midst, police and protesters clash in Bangkok. (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom)

by Bob Dietz and Shawn W. Crispin

Lal Wickramatunga's family and publishing house, Leader Publications, have paid dearly in Sri Lanka's highly charged political climate. While Leader's newspapers, including the weekly Sunday Leader, are widely known for tough, independent reporting, they have been caught up in a partisan media environment, one filled with violence and censorship. Wickramatunga's brother has been murdered, his company has been sued, and his journalists face intimidation.

Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Afghanistan

Top Developments
• Two killed, but press fatalities don't rise in proportion to overall dangers.
• Kidnappings an ongoing hazard; two French journalists held captive.

Key Statistic
13: Foreign journalists killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S. invasion.


Journalists faced numerous challenges from a multifaceted war, instances of government censorship, a culture of official corruption, and factionalism within the domestic media. Two journalists were killed and two others were held by kidnappers throughout the year. The Afghanistan NGO Safety Office, an agency funded by the European Union and European governmental aid agencies, said in September that Afghanistan was at its most dangerous level since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. Insecurity reigned even as the NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), raised troop levels, largely through the addition of about 30,000 U.S. forces. By the end of November, the United States had about 90,000 troops in Afghanistan, and ISAF troop levels stood at more than 130,000.

February 15, 2011 12:50 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Myanmar

Attacks on the Press 2010: Burma

Top Developments
• Junta bars foreign reporters, censors speech prior to national election.
• Aung San Suu Kyi freed, but government still jails journalists, critics.

Key Statistic
13: Journalists imprisoned as of December 1, the fourth‐highest figure in the world.


After nearly five decades of uninterrupted military rule, Burma moved toward an uncertain new era in November when it staged national elections and freed the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The new parliament, although dominated by the military junta's chosen candidates, was the first civilian government in the country since 1962. Military leaders, notorious for their international isolation, sought international legitimacy through the election. "But the vote was so rigged, it had the opposite effect," The Washington Post noted in an editorial. "Rules were written so that, no matter how people voted, the military would retain control; but even so, the regime could not resist Election Day intimidation and ballot-box stuffing."

February 15, 2011 12:43 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   China

Attacks on the Press 2010: China

Top Developments
• Cracking down on ethnic press, authorities jail Uighur, Tibetan journalists.
• Talk of media reform and press rights generates no official changes.

Key Statistic
34: Journalists imprisoned on December 1, tied with Iran for the highest figure in the world.


Operating under the strictures of the central propaganda department, official Chinese media either ignored or denounced the October 8 award of the Nobel Peace Prize to human rights defender and writer Liu Xiaobo. Authorities, who considered the award an insult, also blacked out coverage of Liu's prize on international news broadcasts from the BBC and CNN. The case highlighted significant, ongoing official censorship, and formed a backdrop for a national discussion on the potential for press reforms. Five days after the award was announced, 23 senior Communist Party members called for a sweeping overhaul of China's media censorship policies. "Our core demand is that the system of censorship be dismantled in favor of a system of legal responsibility," said the authors, largely retired party elders, many of whom held ranking positions in the media. Widely distributed by e-mail and posted on the Sina news portal, the letter criticized the propaganda department's unchecked control on news and information, calling it "an invisible black hand." Though the letter was very likely drafted before the Nobel prize was announced, its message was delivered at a moment of heightened attention.

February 15, 2011 12:41 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Indonesia

Attacks on the Press 2010: Indonesia

Top Developments
• Nation slides backward on press freedom; censorship threats emerge.
• Three reporters murdered and magazine attacked, all with impunity.

Key Statistic
2: Years' imprisonment given to Playboy Indonesia editor in a politicized prosecution.


Indonesia slipped backward on press freedom as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's government sought to balance progressive desires for an industrialized society with the expectations of the country's conservative Islamic population. Three reporters were killed with impunity in rural areas, a magazine was attacked after questioning the financial holdings of top national police officers, and the editor of the defunct Playboy Indonesia was jailed in a politically motivated case. Threats of censorship emerged as some officials called for restrictions on Internet activity. And while the Constitutional Court struck down elements of a Suharto-era book-banning law, it left the government empowered to ban books with court approval.

February 15, 2011 12:32 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Nepal

Attacks on the Press 2010: Nepal

Top Developments
• Three media owners slain. Kantipur group faces threats, obstruction.
• Maoist cadres burn copies of two Kathmandu newspapers.

Key Statistic
7th: Ranking on CPJ's Impunity Index, reflecting one of the world's worst records in solving press murders.


The repeated failure to elect a leader cast doubt on the success of Nepal's transition from a monarchy enmeshed in civil war to a democratic republic. While a coalition government was elected in 2008, two prime ministers have since resigned, leaving a power vacuum that India and China have been accused of exploiting. Law and order suffered as multiple political parties jockeyed for influence. Three prominent media owners were killed for unknown motives. Attacks on working journalists continued throughout the year, and there were reports of political groups torching newspapers to prevent distribution of news they did not like.

February 15, 2011 12:23 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Pakistan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Pakistan

Top Developments
• Suicide bombings take devastating toll on media, killing, injuring dozens.
• Journalists face threats from all sides, notably Taliban and the ISI.

Key Statistic
8: Journalists killed in relation to their work in 2010, the highest figure in the world.


Pakistan was the deadliest nation for the press in 2010 as violence spread well beyond the Afghan border region. Eight journalists and one media support worker were killed in relation to their work and numerous others were injured, many in suicide bomb attacks.

February 15, 2011 12:21 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Philippines

Attacks on the Press 2010: Philippines

Top Developments
• Flawed procedures, witness intimidation, bribes mar Maguindanao prosecution.
• Aquino pledges reform, but two more journalists are murdered for their work.

Key Statistic
3rd: Ranking on CPJ's Impunity Index, reflecting one of the world's worst records in solving press murders.


Trial proceedings began in September for the first 19 defendants in the 2009 massacre in Maguindanao province, raising hopes that impunity's grip on the Philippines would finally be loosened. But in a special report issued in November, CPJ uncovered efforts to subvert the judicial process, including bribe offers to victims' families, and the use of intimidation and deadly violence against witnesses. CPJ's investigation also revealed deeply flawed forensic work and widespread lack of cooperation among law enforcement officials, both of which could hinder the prosecution.

February 15, 2011 12:20 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Sri Lanka

Attacks on the Press 2010: Sri Lanka

Top Developments
• Anti-government cartoonist missing; police make no evident effort to find him.
• Government readies plan for a strict media regulatory agency.

Key Statistic
19: Journalists in exile, having fled violence, imprisonment, and intimidation.


In his Independence Day speech on February 4, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared that the country "cannot be developed with harassment, gross punishments, or by the gun." But the sentence that followed--"Discipline is not revenge"--hinted at the repressive measures his administration would continue to pursue against critical news media.

February 15, 2011 12:14 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Thailand

Attacks on the Press 2010: Thailand

Top Developments
• Using emergency decree, government blocks access to thousands of websites.
• CPJ faults government, protesters for lethal violence against media.

Key Statistic
2: Journalists killed during violent clashes between security forces and protesters in Bangkok.


Armed clashes between anti-government protesters and state security forces resulted in 91 deaths and more than 1,800 injuries, a toll that deepened Thailand's debilitating five-year-old political crisis. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva invoked an emergency decree to contain the protests and employed its discretionary powers to sharply curb press freedom, which included far-ranging Internet censorship.

February 15, 2011 12:14 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2010: Vietnam

Top Developments
• In run-up to Communist Party Congress, authorities clamp down on Internet.
• Critical blogs targeted in hacking attacks; government complicity seen.

Key Statistic
5: Online journalists imprisoned on December 1, reflecting crackdown on Internet commentary.


Vietnam targeted online journalists in a clampdown on dissent ahead of a 2011 Communist Party Congress at which top government appointments and policies were to be determined. At least five journalistic bloggers were among dozens of activists arrested on national security-related charges, including "spreading propaganda against the state" and "abusing democratic freedoms." The government maintained some of the world's strictest Internet controls, which included blocks on Facebook and numerous Vietnamese-language websites, including those maintained by the exile-run, pro-democracy Viet Tan and human rights organizations critical of the government. Independent analysts found evidence of official involvement in hacking attacks on critical blogs and websites.

February 15, 2011 12:04 AM ET

Alerts   |   Myanmar

Burmese video journalist given 13 years in jail

New York, February 11, 2011--Burma's new government under Prime Minister Thein Sein must put an end to the former military junta's despicable policy of imprisoning independent journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The most recent case to come to light is the 13-year sentencing of Maung Maung Zeya in a trial held within Insein Prison on February 4. Staff at the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), for which the journalist worked, confirmed the decision to CPJ. Maung Maung Zeya was convicted for contacting Burmese exiled media and violating the Electronics Act. The court's sentence came on the same day Thein Sein was sworn into office. 

February 11, 2011 4:27 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   India

Police in India must drop charges against Tehelka reporter

New York, February 7, 2011--Authorities in Karnataka state should drop charges against Tehelka magazine correspondent K.K. Shahina that appear intended to discredit her reporting, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police visited her residence in Kerala state twice in January and left notices for her to appear for questioning, leading her to fear she will be taken into custody, she told CPJ by e-mail

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

United Nations must intervene to protect Sri Lanka's media

The offices of Sri Lankan website Lanka eNews were completely destroyed in an arson attack today. (Lanka eNews)

New York, January 31, 2011--Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must press the United Nations to address the string of uninvestigated and unprosecuted attacks on journalists and media houses under the government of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ responded after an early Monday morning arson attack on the offices of the independent Sri Lankan website Lanka eNews in the Malabe suburb of the capital, Colombo. Staff members told CPJ that everything in the offices had been destroyed, although no one was injured in the 2 a.m. raid. The outspoken website posted pictures of the destruction

Alerts   |   Vietnam

Vietnamese journalist succumbs to burn injuries

Bangkok, January 31, 2011--The death of a Vietnamese journalist who was brutally attacked last week underscores the urgency for authorities to investigate the case, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Le Hoang Hung, a reporter with the Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper, succumbed to severe injuries in a Ho Chi Minh City hospital over the weekend, according to international news reports.
January 31, 2011 12:42 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

Veteran Chinese columnist dismissed for critical articles

New York, January 28, 2011--The Chinese government is stepping up pressure on media outlets in order to silence outspoken journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The Guangzhou-based Southern Media Group forced veteran columnist and editor Zhang Ping to resign Thursday following pressure from information authorities due to his candid commentaries, according to international news reports. 

January 28, 2011 3:44 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   India

Indian journalist shot and killed in Chhattisgarh state

New York, January 28, 2011--Police in India's central Chhattisgarh state must investigate Sunday's shooting murder of Umesh Rajput, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two masked gunmen shot Rajput, a reporter with the Hindi-language daily Nai Dunia, late Sunday night outside his residence near Raipur district, according to local news reports.

January 28, 2011 3:42 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Singapore

Singapore forces popular site to register as political group

New York, January 26, 2011--In a concerning move against political commentary in advance of upcoming general elections, the government of Singapore has ordered a journalistic website to register as a political association, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The Online Citizen says it has complied with the order, and has announced a January 29 "celebration" of its new status and invited the prime minister to attend. 

January 26, 2011 5:35 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar gunned down in Karachi

New York, January 13, 2011--Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar was shot and killed in Karachi this evening, shortly after covering gang violence in the city, according to several Pakistani journalists. At least two assailants intercepted Babar's car at 9:20 p.m., shooting him multiple times in the head and neck, Geo TV Managing Director Azhar Abbas told CPJ. One assailant spoke to Babar briefly before opening fire, Abbas said.

January 13, 2011 5:05 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Vietnam

Concern as Vietnam plays 'national security' censorship card

Bangkok, January 13, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about a new executive decree issued on January 6 in Vietnam that will give authorities greater powers to penalize journalists, editors, and bloggers who report on issues deemed as sensitive to national security. The new media regulations were issued amid a mounting clampdown on dissent shortly before Wednesday's opening of the 2011 Communist Party Congress.  
January 13, 2011 3:58 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   China

Jailed Chinese journalist, freed on medical parole, dies

New York, January 13, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death on December 31 of Zhang Jianhong, the founder of Aiqinghai (Aegean Sea), a popular website closed by the Chinese government in 2006, according to several human rights groups. Zhang had been sentenced to six years in prison by a court in Ningbo in the eastern province of Zhejiang in March 2007, charged with "incitement to subvert the state's authority" for calling for political reform in articles he posted online. 

January 13, 2011 10:58 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Pakistan

CPJ concerned for safety of Pakistan's Sherry Rehman

New York, January 12, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is greatly concerned about public threats made against journalist and National Assembly member Sherry Rehman. The government has stepped up protection for Rehman after she supported a bill in the National Assembly that would amend Pakistan's blasphemy law. The changes include the repeal of the law's mandatory death penalty.

January 12, 2011 10:11 AM ET

Tags:

Letters   |   China, USA

CPJ asks Obama to raise jailed Chinese journalists with Hu

Dear President Obama: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to you in advance of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States in January to urge you to raise press freedom issues during your talks. We ask that you make clear the depth of U.S. concern that China is the world's leading jailer of journalists.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Death of local reporter in Pakistan must be fully investigated

New York, January 11, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with our colleagues in Pakistan in calling for a full investigation into the killing of Ilyas Nizzar, who was found dead in Pidarak, in the volatile Baluchistan province, in Pakistan's southwest, on January 5. Nizzar, a general assignment reporter with the Baluch-language magazine Darwanth, had been missing and assumed abducted since December 28. According to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Nizzar's body was found on a dirt road near the small town of Pidrak, about 90 miles (140 kilometers) west of Karachi on Wednesday.
January 11, 2011 4:41 PM ET

Tags:

« 2010 | 2012 »