CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Sumit Galhotra

Sumit Galhotra is the research associate for CPJ's Asia program. He served as CPJ's inaugural Steiger Fellow and has worked for CNN International, Amnesty International USA, and Human Rights Watch. He has reported from London, India, and Israel and the Occupied Territories, and specializes in human rights and South Asia.

Blog   |   Bangladesh

Bangladesh should take urgent steps to protect freedom of expression

The U.N. Human Rights Council will convene in Geneva for its next session today. Ahead of this meeting, international groups working on press freedom and freedom of expression, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, made a joint submission to the council calling for urgent and concrete steps to reverse the deteriorating climate for free expression in Bangladesh.

June 13, 2016 7:01 AM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

In Pakistan, continued risk of violence means press takes every threat seriously

Forensics experts investigate the site of the Lahore suicide bombing. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility and warned the media could be next. (AFP/Arif Ali)

"Everyone will get their turn in this war, especially the slave Pakistani media," warned Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban on Twitter this week. "We are just waiting for the appropriate time."

Blog   |   Bangladesh

Slideshow: Remembering Avijit Roy, one year after blogger's murder in Dhaka

On the day Avijit Roy was murdered in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, I had only just left the country. When I arrived in India later that day a Bangladeshi journalist broke the news to me that Roy had been hacked to death and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya, also a blogger, had been critically injured.

February 25, 2016 4:01 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bangladesh

79 cases and counting: Legal challenges pile up for Daily Star editor who admitted error in judgment

Bangladeshis read a newspaper pasted to a wall in Dhaka. The editor of The Daily Star, based in the city, is facing multiple legal cases after saying he published unsubstantiated reports several years ago. (AP/A.M. Ahad)

When Mahfuz Anam, editor of one of Bangladesh's most respected newspapers, admitted recently to a lapse in editorial judgment several years ago, he could not have predicted the legal backlash that would ensue. Anam's admission that he published unsubstantiated information accusing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of corruption has led to a barrage of defamation and sedition cases against him, along with an arrest warrant and calls for his paper, The Daily Star, to be shuttered.

February 23, 2016 4:44 PM ET

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Blog   |   India

Court reporters beaten by lawyers in latest attack on press freedom in India

Lawyers scuffle outside a Delhi court on Wednesday. Several journalists say they were beaten by lawyers at the court in the past week. (AP/Tsering Topgyal)

Attacks this week against journalists covering a high-profile sedition case have heightened concerns about the state of press freedom in India. CPJ has reported frequently on journalists there coming under attack from police, criminals, politicians, and others. Now lawyers have to be added to the list.

Blog   |   India

'I kept telling them I'm a journalist but they kept beating me': Photographer beaten at Delhi protest

Rahul says he heard police give the order to charge before rushing at students at the Delhi protest. (Rahul M.)

As police cracked down on protesters in Delhi during recent protests over the treatment of Dalits, who occupy the lowest rungs of India's caste ladder, journalists were caught in the fray. The protests were sparked by the suicide of Rohith Vemula, a student who had been barred from halls of residence and parts of campus, according to news reports.

February 9, 2016 11:24 AM ET

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Blog   |   Indonesia

One year on, challenges remain for press in Indonesia

Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, President Widodo's right-hand man, discusses conditions for journalists with the press freedom delegation in Jakarta. (Sumit Galhotra/CPJ)

"Change does not come overnight," President Joko Widodo's right-hand man, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, told an international delegation of 10 media and freedom of expression groups that visited Indonesia last month.

Blog   |   India

In India, politics of beef and rising intolerance threaten press freedom

A protest in Delhi over the murder of a Muslim farmer killed over claims he slaughtered a cow. Violence over the tightening of beef laws in parts of India is having an impact on some journalists. (AP/Altaf Qadri)

The violence over the tightening of laws banning the consumption of beef in parts of India and debate over the reach of a right-wing Hindu agenda are having an impact on press freedom. An editor who wrote about the benefits of beef was fired last week, journalists have received death threats from extremist groups, and writers have handed back awards in protest of what they see as the government's failure to address a rising tide of intolerance.

Blog   |   India

Indian journalist named on hit list as threats against critical voices escalate

A vigil for rationalist scholar M.M. Kalburgi, who was shot dead earlier this year. Threats against writers and journalists from the rationalist school of thought are rising in India. (AP/Aijaz Rahi)

"These people will kill you," Nikhil Wagle, a prominent journalist in India, told me as we discussed reports of him being named as a target by a member of a hard-line Hindu group who is being questioned by police over the murder of a writer.

Blog   |   Indonesia

Indonesia should pursue justice in 1996 murder of journalist Udin

This past month marked 19 years since Indonesian journalist Fuad Mohammad Syfruddin was murdered. On August 16, 1996, Udin, as he was popularly known, died from injuries he sustained during an attack by unidentified assailants in his home. Udin, a correspondent for the Yogyakarta daily Bernas, had written articles on land disputes and local government corruption.

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