Europe & Central Asia

Alerts   |   Belarus

At least eight journalists still jailed for reporting on Belarus protests

Belarusians protest against the government of President Aleksandr Lukashenko in the capital Minsk, March 15, 2017. The sign reads "Lukaeshenko, stop picking the raisins out of the bread." (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)

New York, March 28, 2017--Belarusian authorities should immediately release all journalists jailed covering protests and should cease obstructing reporters in an effort to keep news of the protests out of media reports, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Blog   |   Kyrgyzstan

In pivotal election year Kyrgyz media face verbal assaults from president and legal action

President Almazbek Atambayev, pictured at a press conference in 2013. In recent weeks, the Kyrgyz leader verbally assaulted several critical journalists during a speech to foreign ambassadors. (AFP/Vyacheslav Oseldko)

In Kyrgyzstan, once Central Asia's most liberal country, President Almazbek Atambayev is tightening his grip on critical voices, including independent journalists and foreign media.

Alerts   |   Russia

Journalists detained covering Russia protests

Security forces arrest a protester in Moscow, March 26, 2017. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

New York, March 27, 2017--Russian security forces should cease harassing and obstructing journalists covering protests and other events, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Russian media reported that at least 11 journalists were detained yesterday while reporting on nationwide protests. All have since been released.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 26, 2017

Abdullah Kılıç, courtesy of the Kılıç family

Eight journalists at official news agency investigated for terrorism
Security officers are investigating eight reporters from the state Anadolu News Agency on suspicion they are followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom the government accuses of maintaining a terrorist organization and "parallel state structure" (FETÖ, as the government calls it) in Turkey it blames for the failed July 2016 military coup, according to media reports. The İhlas News Agency (İHA) reported that the journalists were suspected of being FETÖ members for having the Bylock application, which investigators say FETÖ members use in an effort to communicate privately. Police detained the eight Anadolu reporters--identified in press reports only by their initials SP, İY, YD, TK, AD, YK, AK and HÖ--for questioning, but released some after interrogation, reports said, without elaborating.

Safety Advisories   |   Belarus

CPJ Safety Advisory: Covering protests in Belarus

Beginning in early February, there have been nationwide demonstrations in Belarus to protest the introduction of a new tax on the unemployed. More than 150 protesters have been arrested, dozens have been fined or sentenced to up to 15 days in jail for participating in the protests, and at least 32 journalists have been detained or otherwise obstructed in an effort to censor coverage of protests, according to a report published by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

March 24, 2017 3:53 PM ET

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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Alerts   |   Belarus

Dozens of journalists obstructed from covering Belarus protests

Belarusians protest in the eastern city of Bobruisk, March 12, 2017. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)

New York, March 23, 2017 - Belarusian authorities should immediately drop all charges against journalists prosecuted for covering a wave of nationwide protests and should cease interfering with journalists doing their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Security forces have detained or otherwise obstructed at least 32 journalists in an effort to censor coverage of protests against the introduction of a new tax on the unemployed.

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.

Alerts   |   Belarus, Russia

Journalist arrested in Moscow on Belarusian extradition request

New York, March 15, 2017--Russian authorities should immediately release Yuriy Baranchik, chief analytical editor of the pro-Kremlin Russian news agency Regnum, and allow him to work unobstructed, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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