New York, December 27, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called for the immediate release of an Indian journalist and filmmaker who was arrested in Sri Lanka on Wednesday while allegedly filming and photographing a military base.
Bangkok, December 20, 2013--A Burmese journalist was sentenced to three months in prison on Tuesday on charges of defamation, trespassing, and "using abusive language," according to local news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns the conviction and calls on the court to reverse the verdict on appeal.
Bangkok, December 20, 2013--The Royal Thai Navy should immediately drop the criminal defamation charges lodged on Wednesday against two journalists in connection with a report on alleged military abuses of ethnic Rohingya people, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Bangkok, December 12, 2013--A radio reporter was shot dead in the Philippines on Wednesday, marking the third journalist to be killed in the past two weeks in the country. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to uphold the rule of law and bring an end to the killing spree of journalists that is under way across the country.
New York, December 10, 2013--Indian authorities must conduct a swift and efficient investigation into the murder of a veteran journalist on Friday, and ensure the perpetrators are held responsible, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Bangkok, December 10, 2013--Radio broadcaster Michael Diaz Milo was shot dead on Saturday, marking the second journalist to be killed in a week in the Philippines, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Philippine authorities to identify the perpetrators and swiftly bring them to justice.
Bangkok, December 9, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on both Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government and opposition groups to respect the role of the press in the lead-up to elections scheduled for February 2. Both sides have failed to uphold basic press freedoms as anti-government protests have intensified in recent weeks, CPJ said today.
Photo credit, Barbara Nitke (CPJ)
Journalists honored at CPJ's annual award ceremony
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef was among four journalists who received CPJ's 2013 International Press Freedom Award on November 26. Youssef has used humor to report on and criticize government failures to improve the economy and public services, and its efforts to suppress opinion. In November, Youssef's show was suspended.
"Freedom of expression is not a privilege; it is a universal right," Youssef told the crowd gathered at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel. "Now, you don't have to be a journalist or a reporter. You can just be an ordinary citizen with a camera and a YouTube channel. This is how we started. I don't know how this will end. ... But at least this is how we started."
CPJ also awarded Janet Hinostroza, a leading TV reporter in Ecuador, who has continued to work despite threats to her and her family; Nedim Şener, who faces up to 15 years in jail on terrorism charges because of his reporting; and Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai, who was not present at the ceremony because he is serving a 12-year prison sentence for "conducting propaganda" against the state.
Thanks to Dan Doctoroff, chief executive officer and president of Bloomberg, who chaired the ceremony, the dinner raised a record $1.65 million for CPJ's worldwide press freedom advocacy. Many of the distinguished guests at the event also pledged support during a special appeal at the end of the night. Those funds were matched by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, contributing another $200,000.
Norman Pearlstine, executive vice president and chief content officer of Time Inc., presented Paul Steiger, founding editor-in-chief of ProPublica and former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for his lifetime commitment to press freedom.
New York, December 4, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release today of a reporter working for Al-Arabiya news channel who, along with two crewmembers, was abducted by Islamist militants 18 months ago.
New York, December 3, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by a new state secrets bill before the Japanese parliament, which, if passed, would broaden the government's power to determine which information can be kept secret.
New York, December 2, 2013--Philippine authorities must identify the perpetrators behind the fatal shooting of radio journalist Joas Dignos on Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Dignos was a local radio commentator, according to news reports.
New York, November 18, 2013--As one of the focus countries for implementation of the U.N. Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity, a strong statement on November 23, the International Day to End Impunity, would affirm that the Pakistani government has political will to investigate and punish the murderers of journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists stated in a letter to Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan.
Bangkok, November 15, 2013--Four journalists were killed and six others reported missing in the typhoon that struck the central Philippines on November 8, according to news reports and local press groups.
New York, November 14, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release on bail today of Lingaram Kodopi, an Indian journalist who has been imprisoned for more than two years, and calls on authorities to drop all charges against him.
CPJ's 2013 International Press Freedom Awards
New York, November 13, 2013 -- Four outstanding journalists who have endured and defied media repression in Ecuador, Egypt, Turkey, and Vietnam will be honored with the Committee to Protect Journalists' 2013 International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition of courageous journalism. All have faced recrimination for their work, including harassment, imprisonment, and censorship. CPJ will present Paul Steiger, founding editor-in-chief of ProPublica and former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom. The awards dinner is open for press coverage. Accreditation requests are accepted until noon on November 25.
New York, November 12, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists has created a petition that calls on Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to immediately release unjustly imprisoned blogger Nguyen Van Hai.
Dear Commonwealth Heads of Government: The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was set up more than 40 years ago with the aim of working together toward shared goals of democracy, freedom, peace, and the rule of law. In the past, formal meetings and private retreats at the summit have served as a platform for member states to discuss issues that affect all nations, such as apartheid in South Africa and the electoral dispute in Zimbabwe.
Bangkok, October 29, 2013--A Vietnamese court today sentenced independent blogger Dinh Nhat Uy to a 15-month suspended prison term and one year of house arrest in connection with his posts on Facebook, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the verdict and calls on Vietnamese authorities to end their escalating campaign of harassment against independent bloggers.
New York, October 23, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for the immediate release of a Chinese journalist who has been detained since Friday after publishing a series of reports alleging financial misdeeds at a partly state-owned construction equipment company.
Bangkok, October 22, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the recent roadside bomb attack that injured five reporters in southern Thailand and calls on both sides of the region's insurgent conflict to refrain from attacks that imperil journalists.
New York, October 15, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Pakistani Minister of Information Pervaiz Rasheed to follow through on a public commitment he made last week to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate attacks against journalists. Since his statement, one journalist was murdered on Friday and another was beaten on Thursday, according to news reports.
Bangkok, October 4, 2013--Vietnamese blogger Le Quoc Quan was sentenced to prison on Wednesday for tax evasion, a charge that government authorities frequently use to stifle critical voices. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the appellate court to reverse the politically motivated ruling and urges Vietnamese authorities to end state persecution of Vietnam's independent bloggers.
Upon receiving the news, Hinostroza told CPJ: "It will be an honor for me to receive this recognition, which will drive me to continue working for freedom of expression in my country and support the different processes that are being developed around the world to defend this right."
Bangkok, September 24, 2013--At least seven journalists were assaulted by a mob of masked men on Sunday while covering a land rights protest in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, according to journalists and local news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the attack and calls for an independent investigation that leads to the prosecution of the perpetrators as well as complicit police officials.
Bangkok, September 19, 2013--A radio anchor was shot dead in the central region of Cebu City on Saturday, the latest death in a steady stream of killings of journalists in the Philippines. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the relevant authorities to thoroughly investigate the murder of Jesus "Jessie" Tabanao and bring his killer to justice.
New York, September 18, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Monday's arrest of an individual suspected to have ordered the 2009 murder of journalist Uma Singh, and calls on authorities to ensure the case is brought to justice.
New York, September 10, 2013--An Indian journalist was killed late Saturday while covering clashes between Hindus and Muslims that erupted in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, according to news reports.
New York, September 9, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the early release of journalist Shi Tao, who was first detained in 2004 and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005 on charges of "leaking state secrets abroad." Shi was released on August 23, according to an announcement on Sunday by Zhang Yu, the deputy secretary-general of the Independent Chinese PEN Center.
New York, September 6, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Pakistani government to ensure that there is a full investigation into the abduction and beating of a journalist for The Friday Times. Ali Chishti, who writes on national security and counter-terrorism, told CPJ and local news outlets that he was abducted and beaten on Friday, August 30, and released the next morning.
Bangkok, August 30, 2013--A radio commentator was shot dead in Iligan City on Thursday, the fourth journalist to be murdered in the Philippines in the past month. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to investigate the murder of Fernando "Nanding" Solijon and swiftly bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice.
Hong Kong, August 29, 2013--Chinese authorities should release a journalist who has been jailed since Friday, after he accused an official of wrongdoing with posts on his personal microblog, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, August 28, 2013--Indian authorities must investigate the motives behind the murder of a local journalist in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, August 26, 2013--Five unidentified men entered the Colombo home of a Sunday Leader associate editor and writer early Saturday morning, held her at knifepoint, and searched her home, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Sri Lankan authorities to conduct a thorough and efficient investigation into the attack on Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema.
New York, August 20, 2013--Indian authorities should thoroughly investigate today's murder of an editor of a magazine and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.
New York, August 16, 2013--Pakistani authorities should immediately investigate an attack on the offices of Karachi's Express Media Group early today, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, August 12, 2012--Authorities in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal have shut down cable TV service, including news channels, in the city of Darjeeling and surrounding districts amid ongoing protests in the region, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns this move and calls on the state authorities to immediately restore service.
Hong Kong, August 9, 2013--The government's anti-corruption agency has demanded two news outlets turn over notes and other material related to interviews they conducted with an oil executive who is under investigation. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Independent Commission Against Corruption to withdraw its requests.
Bangkok, August 9, 2013--A Thai journalist has been harassed and questioned today in connection with comments he posted to his personal Facebook page in early August that speculated about a possible military coup, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Thai authorities to drop the criminal investigation against Sermsuk Kasitpradit and to refrain broadly from curbing freedom of expression over the Internet.
New York, August 2, 2013--Chinese authorities should release a veteran journalist and government critic being held without charge and reverse their orders to shut down more than 100 websites, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Bangkok, August 2, 2013--A photographer was fatally shot in his home in southern General Santos City on Thursday, the third journalist to be killed in the Philippines in less than a week. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to thoroughly investigate the murder of Mario Sy, identify the motive in the attack, and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Bangkok, July 31, 2013--Authorities in the Philippines must identify the motive behind the murders of two journalists on Tuesday and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Both reporters were columnists for the Aksyon Ngayon weekly tabloid newspaper.
Dear President Obama: We are writing to express our concern about the deteriorating press and Internet freedom situation in Vietnam ahead of your Thursday meeting with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang. We ask that in your discussions you insist on the progress of freedom of expression-related issues as a precondition for broadening Vietnam's diplomatic, economic, and strategic relations with the United States.
New York, July 23, 2013--Authorities in Bangladesh should immediately investigate the role of a member of parliament in a physical altercation with two journalists on Saturday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Bangkok, July 22, 2013--A new decree aimed at regulating Internet-related information and services in Vietnam represents a significant new danger to online journalists and bloggers, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The decree was signed into law on July 15 and will be implemented on September 1, according to news reports.
Hong Kong, July 16, 2013--Chinese authorities must conduct an independent and thorough investigation into reports that a plainclothes police officer said to be involved in an auto accident in Kunming City, Yunnan, threatened a television journalist trying to cover the collision, and damaged the news crew's equipment, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, July 12, 2013--Indian authorities' failure to proceed expeditiously in the prosecution of a freelance journalist is a miscarriage of justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalist, who has been held for almost two years without bail on anti-state charges, had exposed police wrongdoing in central Chhattisgarh state.
Hong Kong, July 11, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of Chinese filmmaker and photographer Du Bin after 37 days of detention but calls on authorities to refrain from pursuing formal charges against him.
Dear Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma: The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about press accreditation procedures for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in November. At past meetings, the Commonwealth's Communications and Public Affairs Division has been responsible for issuing permission to journalists to attend the meeting. And, as you know, the visa application process will soon be under way.
Dear Prime Minister Sharif: We are writing to express our deep concern about the expulsion of at least three foreign journalists from Pakistan. While Pakistan remains a dangerous country for journalists, we are concerned that it is also fast becoming inhospitable to international correspondents.
New York, July 5, 2013--Malaysian immigration authorities should reverse their decision to deny entry Wednesday to a journalist critical of the provincial Sarawak government, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Clare Rewcastle Brown, who is based in the United Kingdom, flew to Kuching in southeast Malaysia but was served a "notice of refusal of entry" and later put on a flight to Singapore, according to news reports.
Hong Kong, July 3, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Hong Kong authorities to expedite investigations into recent attacks against news outlets known for being critical of China. In the most recent attack targeting Next Media Limited on June 30, three masked men threatened distribution workers with knives, then burned 26,000 copies of the group's Chinese-language newspaper Apple Daily, according to news reports.
New York, July 2, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the ongoing investigation into a critical Vietnamese blogger. Dinh Nhat Uy was the third blogger arrested in a month, signaling that the country's crackdown continues to intensify.
New York, June 19, 2013--A draft media code introduced in the Sri Lankan parliament would impose harsh restrictions on journalists' ability to report freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The code, which is before a parliamentary advisory council for discussion, could be considered for adoption in September, according to news reports citing an information minister.
New York, June 14, 2013--Vietnamese police in Hanoi arrested a blogger on Thursday on accusations of anti-state activity, according to news reports. Pham Viet Dao wrote blogs that were critical of government officials and policies, the reports said.
Dao, 61, who also wrote about politically sensitive issues such as the territorial dispute with China, was accused of violating Article 258 of the Vietnam's penal code for "abusing democratic freedoms," the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement, according to news reports. If convicted, Dao could face a jail term of up to seven years, the reports said.
New York, June 13, 2013--Chinese authorities must immediately release a journalist who has been detained since May 31 following the publication of his book on the Tiananmen massacre, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Du Bin's detention, which was reported by his family members, came a few days before the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.
New York, June 13, 2013--Burma's media continue to face threats and obstacles to free reporting despite recent reforms, according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released today. A new draft publishing bill and the failure to reform existing restrictive laws jeopardize still limited freedoms of expression and the press.
"The changes in Burma's media landscape are palpable, with no journalists in jail, newspapers reporting on certain sensitive subjects, and websites unblocked," said Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative and author of the report. "But recent steps backward on press freedom cast serious doubt on the government's commitment to a more open reporting environment."
New York, June 11, 2013--Indian authorities should bring to justice the perpetrators of an attack on three cameramen in Kolkata, capital of eastern West Bengal state, on Friday, in which one reporter was almost burned alive, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
May 30, 2013--On the second anniversary of the murder of Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad, the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to continue investigating and find his killers. An official commission of inquiry concluded in January 2012 that the perpetrators in Shazahd's case were unknown, and there has been no further movement in the investigation.
New York, May 28, 2013--Pakistani authorities should identify the motive behind the fatal shooting of a local crime reporter and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, May 23, 2013--With the release of a new report on widespread impunity, the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the incoming government of Pakistan to urgently address the issue of violence against the press by bringing perpetrators of past crimes to justice.
"Pakistan has one of the world's worst records of prosecuting anti-press violence, with authorities failing to convict a single suspect in 23 journalist murders over the past decade," said CPJ Asia program coordinator, Bob Dietz. "The situation is dire as journalists are targeted not only by militants, criminals, and warlords, but also by political, military, and intelligence operatives. These threats have gone completely unpunished over the past decade and have made the country one of the deadliest in the world for the press."
New York, May 20, 2013--Two unidentified assailants on Sunday stabbed to death three employees of a Bengali-language Indian daily in Agartala, the capital of the northeastern state of Tripura, according to news reports.
New York, May 17, 2013--Pakistani authorities should dismiss separate complaints filed against newspapers and journalists in Baluchistan for publishing statements made by banned militant groups, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, May 16, 2013--Judicial authorities in Nepal should stop targeting outlets of the Kathmandu-based Kantipur Publications and dismiss a case filed against the organization and one of its journalists that accuses them of contempt of court, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, May 10, 2013 - The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Pakistan's interim government to reverse its decision to expel New York Times bureau chief Declan Walsh from the country. The order comes on the eve of national elections that will bring about the first successful change of civilian government in Pakistan's history.
New York, May 8, 2013--A man who said he was paid the equivalent of US$250 to kill Philippine radio journalist Gerardo Ortega, left, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2011 murder, according to news reports and the victim's family. The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined with Ortega family in calling for the arrests of the suspected masterminds.
New York, May 8, 2013--The safety of journalists covering political turmoil in Bangladesh must be respected by all parties, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today after at least 11 journalists were reported injured while covering demonstrations by Islamists earlier this week in Dhaka.
Bangkok, May 3, 2013--Malaysian online news sites say access to their websites is being disrupted in the run-up to the general elections scheduled for Sunday.
New York, April 29, 2013--Part-time reporter Jitendra Singh was killed Saturday in Khunti district, Jharkhand state, according to news reports. Members of the People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a breakaway Maoist faction, claimed responsibility, but the motive is unclear. Singh also ran a construction business.
Bangkok, April 26, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the decision by Thailand's Ministry of Culture to reverse its earlier imposed ban on the locally produced documentary Fah Tam Pan Din Soon (Boundary).
"The ministry's reversal of its censorship order against director Nontawat Numbchapol's documentary is a step in the right direction," said Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative. "We would encourage government authorities to reconsider their banning of various other politically-oriented films, books and websites currently censored."
At least five journalists reported being attacked on April 13, 2013, while covering alleged extortion by students at Dhaka University in the capital. News accounts said the students had been extorting money from drivers of vehicles in the surrounding area, but did not offer further details.
Bangkok, April 25, 2013--Thailand's Ministry of Culture has banned the locally produced documentary Fah Tam Pan Din Soon (Boundary) on grounds that it could "mislead and disrupt public order," according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the censorship order and calls on ministry officials to reverse the arbitrary decision.
New York, April 22, 2013--Authorities in the Philippines should thoroughly investigate today's murder of a radio journalist, identify the motive, and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Mario Vendiola Baylosis was killed by two unidentified gunmen in the town of Kabasalan in the southern province of Zamboanga Sibugay, according to news reports.
New York, April 16, 2013--At least one journalist was killed and two were injured in a suicide bomb attack during a political rally today in Pakistan's northwestern provincial capital of Peshawar, according to news reports.
New York, April 16, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the official harassment of a pro-opposition daily in Dhaka and calls on all parties to ensure a free and vibrant press is allowed to function amid ongoing political turmoil.
New York, April 15, 2013--Sri Lankan authorities must immediately investigate an attack on the offices of a Tamil-language newspaper and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The offices of Uthayan have been attacked twice in two weeks.
New York, April 12, 2013--Amid growing political conflict that threatens even more violence in Bangladesh, an editor of a pro-opposition newspaper in Dhaka has been arrested on accusations of inciting religious tension, according to news reports. The editor faces earlier charges of sedition as well, the reports said.
New York, April 10, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by news reports that a Tamil journalist in the United Arab Emirates may be deported to Sri Lanka this week despite her United Nations refugee status, and calls on authorities in the UAE to halt any such deportation measures.
Several journalists were attacked in an altercation with doctors and medical interns outside the Agartala Government Medical College in the state of Tripura on April 5, 2013, according to news reports. The journalists had arrived on the scene to cover allegations by family members of a patient who the relatives said had died of improper treatment, the reports said.
New York, April 8, 2013--Pierre Borghi, a French photographer who was abducted in Kabul more than four months ago, has escaped his captors, according to news reports citing the Afghan government. Borghi's disappearance had not been made public in 2012 at the request of the French authorities who were trying to secure the journalist's release.
New York, April 8, 2013--Pakistani authorities should immediately investigate an attack on the Karachi bureau of the Urdu-language Daily Tawar and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, April 4, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the recent arrests of four Bangladeshi bloggers in Dhaka in connection with their Internet posts that police said hurt the religious beliefs of people.
Six masked assailants on April 3, 2013, attacked the offices of a Tamil-language newspaper in the town of Kilinochchi in the Northern Province, injuring several employees and damaging equipment, according to news reports.
New York, April 2, 2013--An editor for an influential Chinese Communist Party journal said Monday he was suspended after his column appeared in a British publication calling on China to re-evaluate its relations with North Korea, according to news reports.
Sun Media reported that one of its journalists was briefly detained by police for photographing a government building in Malé, the capital, on March 26, 2013. The media group is based in the Maldives and covers local and world news for online, print, and radio.
New York, March 26, 2013--The BBC announced today that it has suspended all radio broadcasts in Sri Lanka following what it called "continued interruption and interference" by a national broadcaster in the country.
Bangkok, March 25, 2013--Violent mobs have threatened journalists covering communal riots in central Burma and destroyed their reporting materials, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to make the security of journalists working in the violence-hit area a top priority.
New York, March 25, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release on bail of Naveen Soorinje, a television reporter jailed for more than four months after documenting a large-scale assault on a group of young women in Karnataka state. CPJ considers the pending criminal charges to be baseless and retaliatory, and calls on authorities to drop them immediately.
New York, March 18, 2013--Pakistani authorities announced today that they have apprehended a militant who was allegedly involved in the 2002 murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi, according to news reports.
"As with every journalist murder, any and all perpetrators in the slaying of Daniel Pearl must be prosecuted and punished," said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. "In order to curb growing impunity in Pakistan, it is imperative that authorities send the strongest possible signal that acts of anti-press violence will not go unpunished."
New York, March 14, 2013--Mam Sonando, a leading independent journalist in Cambodia, is scheduled to be released from prison later this week after an appeals court reduced his 2012 conviction on inciting rebellion to a lesser charge and cut his initial 20-year jail term.
New York, March 13, 2013--Authorities in Bangladesh must immediately investigate attacks on a journalist's car and a local press club that occurred within a day of each other, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The attacks took place amid massive politicized strikes and demonstrations that have swept the country.
New York, March 11, 2013--Authorities in the Philippines should bring to justice the perpetrators responsible for a March 6 attack on a freelance journalist, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Veteran investigative journalist Wang Keqin left his job at a prominent Chinese newspaper on February 25, 2013. An Agence France-Presse report citing two journalists who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal said that Wang was pressured into leaving by management at the Economic Observer.
New York, March 5, 2013--The Sri Lankan Defense Ministry says it wants to identify sources who provided information to the UK-based broadcaster Channel 4 for a new documentary alleging that government forces committed war crimes during the country's long civil conflict, The Divaina, a Sinhala-language daily, reported today. In response, the producer issued a statement saying that no "resident anywhere in Sri Lanka helped us with this film."
New York, March 5, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns an attack on Saturday against a pregnant journalist covering a land dispute in East Kalimantan province, Indonesia. CPJ calls on authorities to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation that leads to the apprehension of all those who participated in the brutal assault, which the journalist said had led to a miscarriage.
March 1, 2013, New York--Pakistani authorities should investigate today's murder of a journalist in the country's restive Baluchistan province, determine the motive, and apprehend the perpetrators immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Bangkok, March 1, 2013--Draft legislation designed to govern the media in Burma threatens to reverse fragile press freedom gains recently achieved under President Thein Sein's democratic reform program, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
News accounts reported that several journalists were injured in February 2013 protests that swept the country following a prison term handed to a senior leader of an Islamist opposition party.
Police arrested Muthi-Ur-Rahman Siddiqui on August 29, 2012, and accused him of being involved in a terror plot to kill Hindu nationalist leaders and journalists in Bangalore, in the southern state of Karnataka. Siddiqui worked as a reporter for the Deccan Herald and covered higher education.
New York, February 27, 2013--Pakistani authorities should immediately launch an investigation into the targeted murder of a veteran journalist who was shot dead today in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Malik Mumtaz had worked for several mainstream news outlets and had recently been elected president of the regional press club, news reports said.
New York, February 25, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the recent string of attacks against journalists in the Maldives and calls on all sides in the political conflict to halt violence against the media.
CPJ's Robert Mahoney identifies the 10 countries where press freedom suffered the most in 2012. They include Syria, the world's deadliest country for the press; Russia, where repressive laws took effect; Brazil, where journalist murders soared; and Ethiopia, where terror laws are used to silence the press. (3:26)
Vietnam intensified its grip on old and new media through a campaign of censorship, surveillance, and imprisonments. Central Propaganda Department officials held weekly meetings with top newspaper editors, outlining news agendas and identifying banned topics. The list of prohibited topics expanded to include criticism of the government's economic management, land conflicts between the state and local communities, and the business dealings of the prime minister's daughter, CPJ sources said. Courts handed down harsh prison sentences to six journalists in 2012. Nguyen Van Khuong, a reporter with the Vietnamese daily Tuoi Tre, was sentenced to four years in prison on trumped-up bribery charges filed after he investigated police corruption. Bloggers Dinh Dang Dinh and Le Thanh Tung were sentenced to six and five years respectively for postings deemed critical of the ruling Communist Party. Three other bloggers--Nguyen Van Hai, Ta Phong Tan, and Phan Thanh Hai--were sentenced to terms ranging from four to 12 years on anti-state charges related to their critical journalism. An executive decree pending in late year threatened a further clampdown on the Internet, including new prohibitions against pseudonymous or anonymous blogs. In a September directive, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung called for police to identify and arrest contributors to three critical, politically oriented blogs that had been operated anonymously. The directive also ordered that the sites be blocked domestically.
Sri Lanka remained a highly restrictive and dangerous nation for the press. Critical or opposition journalists continued to face a climate of intense intimidation. More than 20 journalists have gone into exile in the last five years, one of the highest rates in the world. Work-related murders have declined since 2009, but the slayings of nine journalists have gone unsolved over the last decade, one of the worst records of impunity in the world. The government moved aggressively to obstruct the flow of information. In July, the Ministry of Media and Information blocked efforts to introduce freedom of information legislation before parliament, saying national security would be threatened if citizens were given access to public documents. The government had barred previous right-to-information efforts, including one in 2011. In June, police raided the offices of two opposition news websites, arresting staff members and confiscating equipment. At least five other critical websites were blocked. And in March, the authorities told all news organizations they must obtain prior official approval before issuing any text or SMS news alerts that carried information about the military or police.
The Philippines remained one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. At least one journalist, Christopher Guarin, a broadcaster and newspaper publisher, was killed in relation to his work. Four others were killed under unclear circumstances, and at least two more were attacked by unidentified gunmen. Despite President Benigno Aquino III's vow to achieve justice in journalist murders, the Philippines ranked third-worst worldwide on CPJ's Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered regularly and killers go free. The landmark prosecution of suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre moved at a sluggish pace and was dealt a severe setback with the killing of a key witness. A new Cybercrime Prevention Act gave officials discretionary power to shut down websites and impose prison terms of up to 12 years for online defamation. Amid an outcry by press freedom and civil society groups, as well as legal challenges by petitioners, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order blocking the law's implementation.
Pakistan remained one of the deadliest nations in the world for the press, a situation that appeared unlikely to change given the government's unwillingness to confront the problem. In March, Pakistan joined with Brazil and India in raising objections to a comprehensive UNESCO proposal to protect the press and combat impunity in journalist murders. Pakistan has been one of the world's worst nations in combating deadly anti-press violence, CPJ's Impunity Index shows. At least 23 journalist murders have gone unpunished since the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. A 2012 report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan showed growing ties between political repression and the rising incidence of violence against news media. Threats to journalists in Pakistan were no longer confined to traditionally violent areas such as the border region, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or Baluchistan, CPJ research found. Reporters in Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi, and Lahore faced persistent threats. And in another troubling development, several international journalists told CPJ that militants had begun threatening them more frequently, as the groups started paying more attention to their global reputations.
Nepal's ruling coalition failed to meet the Supreme Court's May deadline to complete a constitution, dissolving the legislature amid political rifts that left the republic's leadership in doubt. Nationwide strikes by political activists and ethnic minority groups advocating federalization resulted in journalists' being harassed and attacked for perceived negative coverage. The majority Maoist party-controlled magazine Lal Rakshak called Kanak Mani Dixit, director of Himal Media publishing group, a "people's enemy" for his criticism of the party's violent tactics. The government moved to classify 140 categories of information relating to politics and the judiciary. The Supreme Court temporarily stayed implementation of the new classifications in February; a decision was pending in late year. Police arrested some journalists' assailants but murder investigations stalled, keeping Nepal on CPJ's Impunity Index of countries where journalists are murdered regularly and killers go free. An international media mission, which included CPJ and other global press freedom groups, met with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai in February to demand effective prosecution for past slayings and refine press freedom safeguards in the draft constitution.
Journalists faced numerous attacks during a tumultuous year marked by the ouster of President Mohamed Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected leader. Nasheed opponents attacked TV stations and journalists in the capital, Malé, after protests against his government escalated in early year. Nasheed, a former human rights defender and political prisoner who was elected president in 2008, stepped down in February but accused his successor, Mohammed Waheed Hassan, and former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of having orchestrated a coup. As Nasheed’s supporters took to the streets in protests seeking new presidential elections, numerous attacks on the press were reported. News coverage reflected the country’s political polarization. Raajje TV, a pro-Nasheed station, said that vandals briefly forced it off the air and that police assaulted and harassed its journalists. Police accused Raajje of falsely reporting officer misconduct and said vaguely that they would not “provide support” to the station. New elections were slated for July 2013, but tensions remained high in late year after Nasheed was arrested on abuse-of-office charges. The worst attack of the year came in June when unidentified assailants slashed the throat of Ismail Rasheed, a secularist who blogged about gay rights. His supporters said Hassan had stoked religious extremism and failed to ensure a proper investigation into the attack on Rasheed, who survived.
Violence plagued journalists in northeastern Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh, including four attacks on the Arunachal Times. Tongam Rina, a columnist for the paper, survived a shooting that put her in intensive care for a time. The authorities blocked hundreds of websites they claimed incited ethnic and religious protests in Assam and beyond, but the blocking also affected numerous online news outlets, along with sites that were rebutting calls for violence. The September arrest of anti-graft cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on sedition, insult, and other charges outraged civil society. Trivedi made bail as the sedition charge was dropped, but at least two freelance journalists facing anti-state charges remained in jail without trial for more than a year. A third reporter was imprisoned in late year on retaliatory charges filed after he exposed assaults on young women in Karnataka state. India placed 12th on CPJ’s Impunity Index of countries that fail to solve journalist murders. A botched inquiry into the 2011 killing of Jyotirmoy Dey was seen as emblematic of the failure. In Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, assailants obstructed coverage of politics, courts, and religion. Nationwide, coverage of corruption was risky: Rajesh Mishra was slain in March for reporting on financial irregularities in Madyha Pradesh schools. In May, Jharkhand authorities threatened videographer Mukesh Rajak for asking questions about local expenditures. Twenty-five percent of journalists killed in India since 1992 covered corruption.
As the leadership handed over power to new Communist Party appointees in a November congress, censors aggressively blocked coverage of dissent, including reports on blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng's escape from house arrest. Coverage of corruption was tightly controlled in foreign and domestic media. The New York Times and Bloomberg News were censored domestically after they revealed the fortunes held by the families of top leaders, including the incoming president, Xi Jinping. The Foreign Ministry declined to renew the credentials of Al-Jazeera correspondent Melissa Chan, forcing her to leave Beijing amid troubling anti-foreign rhetoric. Authorities removed top executives at two outspoken domestic papers, Guangzhou's New Express and Shanghai's Oriental Morning Post. Internet users debated environmental disasters and the high-profile ouster of former leadership candidate Bo Xilai over a corruption and murder scandal, setting off fresh censorship and anti-rumor campaigns. China continued to jail a large number of online journalists, many of whom sought to cover issues affecting ethnic minorities. Two Tibetan writers were jailed in 2012 for documenting a debate on the preservation of Tibetan culture. CPJ honored jailed Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen with an International Press Freedom Award in November.
Burma eased media restrictions in line with its historic transition from military to quasi-civilian rule. At least 12 journalists, including those associated with banned exile media groups, were released in a series of pardons. The government abolished pre-publication censorship--a process that had forced private newspapers to publish in weekly formats--and it allowed coverage of many previously banned topics, including stories on opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. But the government did not dismantle its censorship body as promised, and it required newspapers to submit copies for official, post-publication review. Several restrictive laws remained in effect, including the 1962 Printers and Publishers Registration Act and Electronic Act and the 2000 Internet Law. Two news journals, Voice Weekly and Envoy, were temporarily suspended in August for violating censorship guidelines. The government began allowing foreign journalists to enter the country, although some were still refused visas. Passage of a new media law was delayed amid journalists’ protests after a leaked draft of the legislation showed that it would fail to guarantee press freedom. A defamation case filed by the government against The Voice newspaper for reporting on alleged corruption in the Ministry of Mines signaled a possible shift to the use of courts to suppress the press.
Long-standing antagonism between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed's Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh National Party—what critics call “zero-sum politics”—set off street violence that threatened the safety of journalists. A constitutional amendment eliminated the creation of caretaker governments to oversee general elections, a step likely to intensify political passions surrounding the scheduled 2013 vote. The Bangladesh National Party called for political agitation and suggested it may boycott the election. The amendment also criminalized criticism of the constitution itself, labeling such dissent as sedition. A group of machete-wielding assailants killed Jamal Uddin, a reporter who covered the drug trade for a Bengali-language newspaper in Jessore district. The June slaying ended a nearly seven-year period in which no Bangladeshi journalist had been killed in direct relation to journalism. Mystery surrounded the double murder of married journalists Meherun Runi and Golam Mustofa Sarowar. The authorities made arrests in the case but disclosed no motive. CPJ is investigating to determine whether the double slaying was work-related.
For the first time since 2005, CPJ documented no work-related fatalities in Afghanistan. But the country remained a dangerous place, with many international and domestic journalists telling CPJ that they had received threats during the year. News outlets united to slow the advance of a media bill that, with its vague terminology, would allow for increased government restrictions on news coverage. As donor nations prepared to scale down military and economic support and funders backed away in the run-up to the 2014 deadline for troop withdrawal, Afghanistan’s vibrant press, with more than 400 news organizations, began to look increasingly overpopulated. Despite efforts by local journalists and international organizations to bolster the Afghan media, outlet managers and owners said the decline had already begun. Some estimated that more than 700 journalists had already lost their jobs by mid-year. The country suffered from an increasingly partisan national media environment; instead, news organizations set up by political or religious leaders looked most likely to survive. Internet penetration remained very low as officials began to implement a World Bank-funded project aimed at quadrupling the rate by 2016.
Analyses and data track press conditions throughout the region. Bob Dietz describes the challenges facing Afghan media as international aid declines. Shawn W. Crispin details increasing Internet repression in Southeast Asia. And Madeline Earp highlights China's growing hostility toward the foreign press--even as the nation pursues its own global media expansion.
Worldwide tally reaches highest point since CPJ began surveys in 1990. Governments use charges of terrorism, other anti-state offenses to silence critical voices. Turkey is the world's worst jailer. A CPJ special report
Attacks on the Press | Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand
Authorities in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on February 9, 2013, ordered citizens to remain indoors and restricted mobile Internet service and cable television across several districts in the lead-up to a controversial execution of a militant from the region, according to news reports.
February 8, 2013, New York--Individuals alleged to be part of a right-wing Hindu group attacked an employee of the Mangalore-based Karavali Ale daily on Wednesday, confiscated and torched copies of the paper's editions on Thursday, and threatened news vendors, according to news reports and the head of the media group that owns the paper. The paper had published a front page story linking the Hindu group to drug trafficking, news reports said.
Vietnamese blogger Le Anh Hung was released on February 5, 2013, about 12 days after he was arrested and held against his will in a psychiatric institution in Hanoi, the national capital, according to news reports.
Bangkok, February 1, 2013--In a widening crackdown on online expression, Vietnamese security officials have arrested critical independent blogger Le Anh Hung and are holding him against his will in a psychiatric institution, news reports said. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest and calls on authorities to immediately release Hung and all other journalists detained on spurious charges in Vietnam.
New York, January 28, 2013--Authorities in Nepal should ensure the safety of more than 20 journalists who fled the western district of Dailekh on Thursday after receiving death threats from individuals they said were supporters of the ruling Maoist party, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. At least five news outlets have been forced to halt operations as a result, news reports said.
New York, January 24, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the threats and acts of intimidation against journalists in Nepal during Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai's visit on Wednesday to the western district of Dailekh.
New York, January 24, 2013--A Thai court sentenced news editor and political activist Somyot Prueksakakasemsuk to 11 years in prison on Wednesday for two articles the court ruled had insulted the Thai monarch, a criminal offense under the country's strict lѐse majesté law. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the harsh sentencing and calls for the journalist's immediate and unconditional release.
New York, January 15, 2013--Authorities in Bangladesh must immediately investigate Monday's stabbing of a blogger in Dhaka, determine the motive, and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Police, emergency workers, and at least three journalists were killed in a bomb blast on January 10, 2012, that occurred 10 minutes after an initial explosion near a billiards hall in Quetta, capital of Pakistan's restive Baluchistan province, according to news reports and CPJ sources.
New York, January 11, 2013--Hong Kong's government should withdraw a proposed regulation that would limit journalists' access to information about business leaders, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, January 10, 2013--At least two journalists were killed and two others seriously injured when a bomb went off near a billiards hall in Quetta, capital of Pakistan's restive Baluchistan province, as the journalists were reporting on an explosion that was set off there just minutes earlier, according to local journalists and news reports. Dozens of other people were reported killed in the double bombing, for which the militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility.
Bangkok, January 9, 2013--At least five independent bloggers were sentenced today to harsh jail terms in Vietnam, according to local and international news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns this move and calls on Vietnamese authorities to reverse the charges on appeal and release the bloggers.
New York, January 8, 2013--Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai today publicly criticized the arrest of five of his party members who stand accused of the 2004 murder of radio journalist Dekendra Raj Thapa, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the arrests and calls on the prime minister to allow due process to take its course.
New York January 4, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in India to refrain from pressing charges against a media group that televised an interview with the companion of the Delhi rape victim who died last week. The December 16 case has garnered global attention.
Malaysian crime reporter Ang Kean Siang, a journalist at the local Guang Ming Daily Chinese-language newspaper, was physically attacked on December 30, allegedly by members of a local civilian voluntary patrol unit, after taking pictures of a woman who appeared to have fallen to her death from an apartment building in Penang state's Georgetown city, according to local reports.
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1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.