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Press Freedom News and Views

Africa

Blog   |   Zambia

For Zambia's press, election year brings assaults and shut down orders

Supporters of President Edgar Lungu's party celebrate his re-election in August. The country's press has been harassed during Zambia's election year. (AFP/Dawood Salim)

Zambia's press has come under sustained assault in this election year, with station licenses suspended, journalists harassed or arrested for critical coverage, and one of the country's largest privately owned papers, The Post, being provisionally liquidated in a move that its editors say is political motivated.

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   |   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   |   Nigeria

How Nigeria's cybercrime law is being used to try to muzzle the press

Two brothers use gaming apps on their smartphones in Lagos. Nigeria's new cybercrimes act has been used against at least five critical bloggers. (AFP/Stefan Heunis)

Since Nigeria's cybercrime act was voted into law in May 2015 authorities have used the accusation of cyber stalking to harass and press charges against at least five bloggers who criticized politicians and businessmen online and through social media.

Blog   |   Zimbabwe

Journalists caught in crosshairs amid protests and unrest in Zimbabwe

A man carries a street sign in Harare as protesters clash with police on August 26. Journalists have been beaten and detained while covering unrest in Zimbabwe. (Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo)

A photograph of freelance journalist Lucy Yasini trying to ward off an attack by police while covering a protest in Harare was circulated on social media last week. A day later, a photograph was shared of two reporters, Obey Manayiti and Robert Tapfumaneyi, in the back of a police truck after their arrest. The incidents signaled to the world that Zimbabwean journalists are once again targets as police try to clamp down on widespread protests.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan, Burundi, Gambia, Turkey

World Refugee Day: Fear of arrest drives journalists into exile

In August 2014 two journalists living more than 4,000 miles apart slipped across a border to find safety: one with his wife and three children, the other alone. Idrak Abbasov, from Azerbaijan, and Sanna Camara, from Gambia, faced imprisonment because of their reporting. Neither has been able to return home.

Blog   |   Gambia, Iraq, Russia, USA

Global Magnitsky Act could be powerful weapon against impunity in journalist murders

The funeral of Sergei Magnitsky is held in Moscow on November 20, 2009. The lawyer died in state custody after exposing official corruption. (Reuters/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Last week, the proposed Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act emerged from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee with approval. The bill was passed by the Senate last year. If passed by the full House of Representatives and signed into law by the president, it has the potential to offer partial redress to one of the most chilling truths facing journalists today: in 90 percent of cases, the murders of journalists go unpunished.

Blog   |   Tanzania

Tanzania cuts live parliamentary coverage, ending vital news source for citizens

President John Magufuli, pictured after winning Tanzania's election last year. His party has halted the live coverage of parliament. (Reuters/Emmanuel Herman)

On April 19, the live coverage of proceedings in the Tanzanian parliament ended as a government decision to halt the service went into effect. The move, announced by Information Minister Nape Nnauye in January, has led to protests from the opposition party and journalists' groups, who said they view the decision to stop live broadcasts of parliamentary debates as tantamount to censorship.

Blog

CPJ joins call for World Bank to adopt human rights policy

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined Social Justice Connection and other press freedom and human rights groups in calling on the World Bank to adopt a human rights policy at its annual spring meeting in Washington D.C. In a letter to the president of World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, the groups urged the bank to consider human rights and freedom of expression in the drafting of its social protection policy, which is due to be completed this summer.

April 18, 2016 1:59 PM ET

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Blog   |   Kenya

Gado blames government pressure as cartoonist's contract at Kenya's Nation ends

A man reads a copy of Kenyan daily, the Nation. Gado, whose political cartoons were regularly featured in it, says his contract with the paper was terminated. (AP/Ben Curtis)

For 23 years Godfrey Mwampembwa has been a prominent and quick-witted observer of the political scene in East Africa. But all that changed last month when the cartoonist, known as Gado, was told his contract at Kenya's biggest newspapers, the Nation, would not be renewed.

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