Attacks on the Press in 2008

Attacks on the Press   |   Iran

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Iran

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's economic policies and human rights record drew widespread criticism from academics, activists, and journalists. In response, Ahmadinejad sought to suppress independent media by manipulating government subsidies, exerting censorship, and using the punitive tools of detention and harassment.

Attacks on the Press   |   Iraq

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Iraq

Eleven journalists were killed because of their work, making Iraq the most dangerous nation for the press for the sixth consecutive year. Nevertheless, the figure was the lowest yearly toll since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003--and two-thirds lower than the annual figures for 2007 or 2006.

Attacks on the Press   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

With a shaky six-month truce coming to an end in late year, Hamas rocket attacks on Israel were met with the largest bombardment of the Gaza Strip since 1967. The headquarters of Hamas-controlled Al-Aqsa TV was destroyed and at least two journalists were injured amid massive airstrikes by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). As 2008 gave way to a new year, hundreds had been killed and Israel had undertaken a ground offensive into Gaza.

February 10, 2009 12:29 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Kazakhstan

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Kazakhstan

The administration drafted a bill that would take limited steps in loosening criminal defamation and weeding out some of the bureaucratic thicket that regulators have used to obstruct news media. Parliament was due to consider the measure in early 2009. The bill was intended to fulfill government promises to liberalize media laws in return for gaining the 2010 chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the human rights monitoring agency.

February 10, 2009 12:28 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Kenya

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Kenya

Bracketed by profound attacks on the press, a tumultuous 2008 threatened the country’s standing as a regional leader in free expression. A repressive media bill sailed through parliament in December and was signed into law by President Mwai Kibaki as 2009 began. Enacted over the protests of local and international media groups, the measure provides the government with sweeping censorship powers. The information minister and a newly established communication commission were given broad authority to regulate broadcast content and scheduling. The law retains provisions allowing the internal security minister to raid media houses and confiscate equipment in the name of national security.

February 10, 2009 12:27 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Kyrgyzstan

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Kyrgyzstan

Three years after a popular uprising inspired hope for reform, press conditions stagnated and, in many respects, deteriorated. A high-profile murder remained unsolved, with no evident progress in the investigation. Two editors faced criminal prosecution, and their newspapers were shuttered in the wake of a defamation case. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed into law a restrictive broadcast measure that reversed efforts to transform the state broadcaster Kyrgyz National Television and Radio Corporation (KTR) into an independent, publicly funded outlet. Conditions reverted in many ways to those that existed under former leader Askar Akayev, whose corrupt regime was brought down by the 2005 revolt known as the Tulip Revolution.

February 10, 2009 12:26 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Lebanon

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Lebanon

This deeply divided country reached the brink of full-scale conflict in mid-year after political and religious leaders used the news media to inflame sectarian divisions and failed to abide by the consensual style of government agreed upon at the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. A battle of words that began in December 2006 with the resignation of Shiite Hezbollah ministers and allies from the coalition government headed by Sunni Prime Minister Fouad Siniora erupted in deadly street clashes in May.

February 10, 2009 12:25 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Malaysia

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Malaysia

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s government maintained leverage over print media through a renewable licensing system that enabled authorities to suspend or revoke publications when coverage was deemed controversial. Officials charged journalists under national security laws such as the Internal Security Act and Sedition Act, which carried significant prison penalties. These threats of imprisonment and license revocation have long engendered a culture of self-censorship in the traditional media, but the government expanded its legal attacks in 2008 to encompass the thriving online community.

February 10, 2009 12:24 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Mexico

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Mexico

Powerful drug cartels and escalating violence made journalists in Mexico more vulnerable to attack than ever before. The dangerous climate was compounded by a pervasive culture of impunity. Most crimes against the press remained unsolved as Mexican law enforcement agencies, awash in corruption, did not aggressively investigate attacks. With no guarantee of safety, reporters increasingly turned to self-censorship to protect themselves. CPJ research showed that 24 journalists had been killed since 2000, at least eight in direct reprisal for their work. In addition, seven journalists had disappeared since 2005.

February 10, 2009 12:23 AM ET



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