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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   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 22

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Binali Yildirim, the new head of the ruling Justice and Development Party, pose for cameras at the presidential palace in Ankara, May 22, 2016. (Presidential Pool/AP)

Prison sentences for newspaper editors
Istanbul's 13th Court for Serious Crimes sentenced Eren Keskin and Reyhan Çapan, former editor and news editor, respectively, of the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, to three years and nine months in prison each on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda, the newspaper reported today. Both are free, pending appeal. In the past month, dozens of journalists have taken turns symbolically acting as co-editors of the newspaper to protest the government's persistent judicial harassment of the daily and its editors.

[May 27, 2016]

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 15

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks to local officials at the presidential palace in Ankara, May 4, 2016. (Adem Altan/AFP)

Veteran columnist pleads 'not guilty' to charges of insulting Erdoğan
Veteran journalist Hasan Cemal, a columnist for the news website T24 and a founder of the news website P24, today pleaded not guilty to charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at Istanbul's 12th Criminal Court of First Instance, T24 reported.

Blog   |   Hungary

UN review of Hungary shows country 'treats human rights as a public enemy'

Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, talks to the press outside the EU leaders' summit in March. The country's poor press freedom record and policies on asylum seekers have been criticized by the U.N. (AFP/John Thys)

On May 9, a stern review of Hungary's conduct in human rights issues and press freedom was released at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The report, drafted by the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, listed concerns from U.N. member states about the controversial policies of Viktor Orbán's government on asylum seekers and hate speech, as well as the poor state of press freedom.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 8

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses local officials at his palace in Ankara on March 20, 2016. Erdoğan said Russian and U.S. arms were finding their way to Kurdish groups Turkey classes as terrorist organizations. (Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Pool/AP)

Police detain two men on suspicion of plotting attack on newspaper
Police detained two men suspected of planning to attack the printing house of leading pro-government daily Sabah today, the newspaper reported. According to Sabah, suspects Hasan K and Bahri T were on a motorcycle with no license plates, wearing two sets of clothes, one over another, and were in possession of masks, gloves, a shotgun, and five shells when police apprehended them near the newspaper's printing plant.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey responds to CPJ letter on Zaman takeover, denying move is politically motivated

When riot police stormed the Istanbul offices of Turkey's largest newspaper, the daily Zaman, on March 4 following a court-ordered takeover, the Committee to Protect Journalists sent a public letter to Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, expressing dismay at the government's actions and calling on him to uphold press freedom in Turkey.

May 2, 2016 1:40 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 1

A screenshot from an online video feed of Turkey's NTV television station shows police detaining the man suspected of attempting to shoot Cumhuriyet journalist Can Dündar outside his trial in Istanbul, May 6, 2016.

Leading Turkish journalists sentenced to five years in prison
The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned a Turkish court's sentencing today of two journalists for the opposition daily Cumhuriyet.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 24

A man reads Cumhuriyet newspaper in Istanbul, January 14, 2015. The newspaper said police stopped delivery trucks from leaving the printers on that date to verify that the newspaper had not republished cartoons from the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. (AP)

Erdoğan says response to "sleaze" of EU's press-freedom criticism beneath his dignity
"Providing an answer to this worthlessness and sleaze would not be very appropriate for the president of Turkey," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters in Croatia yesterday, responding to EU Parliament President Martin Shulz's criticisms of Turkey's crackdown on the press, the daily newspaper Hürriyet reported.

Blog   |   Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan must free jailed journalist Azimjon Askarov, UN committee says

A human rights body has called for the release of Azimjon Askarov, pictured with bruising caused while in custody. A report found his arrest and trial unjust and evidence that the journalist was tortured. (Nurbek Toktakunov)

In a milestone decision announced today in Geneva, the U.N. Human Rights Committee called on Kyrgyzstan to immediately release Azimjon Askarov, a journalist sentenced to life in prison in September 2010. The U.N. body issued its decision after reviewing a complaint filed in November 2012 by Askarov's lawyer, Nurbek Toktakunov, and a team of experts from the New York-based Open Society Justice Initiative.

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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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