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Blog   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia's state of emergency cuts lines of communication and puts bloggers at risk of arrest

Police fire tear gas during a festival in Ethiopia's Oromia region. After months of protests, authorities have imposed a state of emergency that includes blocking access to social media. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

On October 4, I heard that my friend Natnael Feleke had not returned home even though it was approaching midnight in Ethiopia. Family and friends were discussing where to search for the blogger, who had only been released 11 months earlier from the notorious Kilinto prison, where he was held for 16 months over his blogging. As Ethiopia responds to months of anti-government protests, the fear of bloggers and social media activists being targeted again seemed real.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 23

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses supporters in Istanbul, August 7, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

News agency reporter sentenced to two years in prison on terrorism charges
A court in the southeastern Turkish city of Mardin today sentenced Bilal Güldem, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA), to two years and three months in prison on charges of "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization," with material he published on social media websites, his employer reported. The journalist is free, pending appeal.

Blog   |   Serbia

How influence of Russian media risks making Serbia a Moscow bureau

A composite of front pages from Serbia's press. Headlines, from top left: Putin: I Can Destroy the States in Half an Hour; CIA is Warning: Putin is Ready to Wage a War for Serbia; Putin: Give me Crimea, I will Give you Kosovo. From bottom left: Blitzkrieg Campaign: To Kill Putin in Serbs; Serbia is facing an ultimatum: Either Russia or Europe

For a couple of days last month, uninformed tourists visiting Serbia could easily have believed that the country is a Russian outpost. With large photos of Vladimir Putin on their covers, Serbian tabloids--by far the biggest source of print information in the country--were engaged in a discussion over whether the Russian President would defend Serbia and its contested part of Kosovo, or trade it for recognition of Crimea. Added to that were front-page headlines evoking Cold War rhetoric, including the government-controlled Informer's September 20 edition, "Putin: I Can Destroy the States in Half an Hour."

Blog   |   Turkey

CPJ, 25 other organizations call on Turkey to revoke state of emergency

Members of police special forces keep watch from an armored vehicle in front of a courthouse in Ankara, Turkey, on July 18, 2016. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

A coalition of 26 international media freedom and human rights advocacy groups, including CPJ, today called on Turkey to lift emergency measures that have resulted in the stifling of criticism and dissent; the detention of large numbers of individuals, including more than 100 journalists; and the removal of fair trial protections and safeguards against torture. The statement came in response to Turkey's extension of state of emergency provisions for another 90 days starting today.

October 19, 2016 2:02 PM ET


Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 16

A demonstrator carrying a carnation to commemorate last year's bombing of a train station in Ankara meets a policeman in riot gear, October 10, 2016. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Man accused of shooting at award-winning editor freed pending trial
A court in Istanbul today ordered Murat Şahin--the man accused of attempting to shoot former Cumhuriyet newspaper editor Can Dündar during a break in Dündar's trial on May 6--released pending the conclusion of his trial, Hürriyet Daily News reported.

Blog   |   India

In India, online campaign seeks to free press from risk of criminal defamation

India's Parliament in New Delhi. A private members' bill to decriminalize defamation will be heard during its winter session. (AFP/Money Sharma)

An online campaign to decriminalize defamation in India is being led by a member of the country's main opposition party. "Criminal defamation can lead to people being put in jail for something they have said publicly. This law needs to be replaced by a modern, progressive law," reads the statement on the campaign website.

Blog   |   China, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Pakistan

Protecting journalists who cover corruption is good for the bottom line

Number of journalists who covered corruption who were killed in relation to their work since 1992, by country. (Mehdi Rahmati/CPJ research)

Corruption is one of the most dangerous beats for journalists, and one of the most important for holding those in power to account. There is growing international recognition that corruption is also one of the biggest impediments to poverty reduction and good governance. This is why journalists on this beat must be protected, including by multilateral lending institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which just concluded their annual meetings in Washington D.C.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 10

Two columnists freed from jail on appeal

Lale Kemal, a columnist who wrote for the dailies Taraf and Zaman, and Nuriye Akman, a columnist for Zaman, were released from prison yesterday on appeal, the English-language news blog Turkish Minute reported.

Blog   |   Nepal

In Nepal, critical editor flees and journal's funding is blocked

Kunda Dixit cut his once mop-like white hair, grew a beard, and quietly went into hiding, eventually fleeing Nepal for the safety of the U.S. to avoid arrest. And in doing so, the prominent journalist, publisher, and frequent writer for the Nepali Times, skipped out on a major international journalism conference he was co-sponsoring with the Global Investigative Journalism Network. In a videotaped speech played at the conference, attended by over 350 journalists, mainly from Asia, he blamed a "political witch hunt" for his self-imposed exile.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 2

News anchor Banu Guven (L) gets ready for a news broadcast at a studio of IMC TV, a news broadcaster slated for closure, in Istanbul, Turkey, September 30, 2016. (Reuters/Huseyin Aldemir)

Reporter arraigned on terrorism charges for Facebook posts
The Mersin Court of Penal Peace last night arraigned Cemil Uğur, a reporter for the left-wing Evrensel newspaper, on charges of "being member of a [terrorist] organization," and "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization," his employer reported. Police held Uğur for 16 days in August, before a court ordered him released on probation on September 7. The court in the southern city of Mersin based its order to jail him pending trial on posts to the journalist's Facebook account. The journalist denies the charges and says the posts in question were published when his account was hacked.

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