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Blog   |   Belarus

CPJ joins call for Belarus president to stop harassment of journalists, protesters

A rally in Minsk on March 15. Dozens of journalists are being obstructed or detained to prevent them covering protests in Belarus. (AP/Sergei Grits)

The Committee to Protect Journalists, along with 48 rights organizations, sent a letter on March 22 to Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, condemning the detention and harassment of protesters, journalists, human rights defenders, civil society activists, and members of the country's opposition party.

March 23, 2017 11:56 AM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 19, 2017

A demonstrator walks around a bonfire to mark the spring festival of Newroz in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır, March 21, 2016. Ethnic Kurds marked the occasion last year with a demonstration calling for the resumption of peace talks with the government. (Reuters/Sertac Kayar)

Security forces detain reporter in southeastern Turkey
Security forces in the southeastern province of Mardin today detained Dihaber reporter Murat Verim, the news agency reported. Dihaber said the arrest was part of an ongoing terrorism investigation.

Blog   |   UK

UK's proposed Espionage Act will treat journalists like spies

Theresa May, pictured in Brussels in March 2016. Her government is proposing an Espionage Act under which journalists who obtain leaked information could face lengthy prison sentences. (AP/Virginia Mayo,File)

Journalists in Britain are becoming increasingly alarmed by the government's apparent determination to prevent them from fulfilling their mission to hold power to account. The latest manifestation of this assault on civil liberties is the so-called Espionage Act. If passed by parliament, it could lead to journalists who obtain leaked information, along with the whistle blowers who provide it to them, serving lengthy prison sentences.

Blog   |   Iran

CPJ joins call to renew mandate of Iran human rights rapporteur

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, at the opening of the Human Rights Council in Geneva in February. The council is due to vote on renewing the mandate of a special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. (AFP/Fabrice Coffrini)

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined 40 human rights groups calling on the U.N. Human Rights Council to support the resolution to renew the mandate of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. A vote on the resolution is scheduled to take place during the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, which ends March 24.

March 16, 2017 10:39 AM ET

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Blog   |   China, Germany, Internet, Russia, USA

Deciding who decides which news is fake

White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily briefing. President Trump and his administration have accused critical outlets of being fake news. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Authorities decry the proliferation of misinformation and propaganda on the internet, and technology companies are wrestling with various measures to combat fake news. But addressing the problem without infringing on the right to free expression and the free flow of information is extremely thorny.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 12

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses local government officials in Ankara, January 19, 2017. (Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)

Editor sentenced to nine years in prison
The 7th Court for Serious Crimes in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır yesterday sentenced Aydın Atar, former news editor for the shuttered Kurdish-language daily newspaper Azadiya Welat, to nine years, four months, and 15 days in prison on charges of "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization," the news website Dihaber reported. The journalist is free, pending appeal.

Blog   |   USA

CPJ calls on Homeland Security secretary to reject password proposal

A traveler arrives at New York's JFK airport. Suggestions by the Homeland Security Secretary that passengers be asked for social media passwords would impact journalists. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly's suggestion to a committee hearing that the U.S. could request social media profile and password information as a condition to entering the country. Such requirements would have an impact on journalists by undermining their ability to protect sources and work product, and would represent an escalation of the press freedom challenges journalists face at U.S. borders.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 5

Protesters in Berlin call for the release of Die Welt Turkey correspondent Deniz Yücel, February 28, 2017. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

Suspended sentences, fines, for participants in newspaper solidarity campaign
Istanbul's 22nd Court for Serious Crimes today convicted four people of terrorism charges in connection with the coverage of the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem on the days on which they each symbolically acted as co-editor of the newspaper to protest authorities' relentless judicial harassment of the newspaper, according to news reports. Police raided and sealed the newspaper's office in August 2016, as dozens of writers, activists, academics, and artists continued to show solidarity with the newspaper by symbolically adding their names to the newspaper's masthead for a day.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 26

"Free Deniz" is written across the Berlin headquarters of publisher Axel Springer Markus Schreiber, February 28, 2017. (AP/Markus Schreiber)

Shots fired at newspaper office, no one injured
An unknown assailant in a moving taxi fired two shots from a handgun at the building housing the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet in Istanbul this morning, Cumhuriyet reported. A police investigation is in progress, the report said.

Blog   |   China

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

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

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

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