Europe & Central Asia


Alerts   |   Russia

Court reduces financial penalty against independent daily

New York, March 24, 2005—An appeals court yesterday reduced the massive damages levied against the independent Moscow daily Kommersant in what a newspaper lawyer called a "tactical victory" in its ongoing legal battle over its reporting on last summer's banking crisis.

Moscow's Federal Arbitration Court upheld the finding of liability but reduced the damages to 40.5 million rubles (US$1.46 million)—about one-eighth the original award, according to local and international press reports.
March 24, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Case   |   Kyrgyzstan


MARCH 23, 2005
Posted: March 28, 2005

Azamat Kalman, Journalists Trade Union

Kalman, head of the country's independent Journalists Trade Union, suffered two broken legs while covering the escalating unrest that prompted President Askar Akayev to flee the country.
March 23, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

After outcry, president pardons imprisoned opposition editor

New York, March 21, 2005—Facing international pressure, President Ilham Aliyev pardoned the imprisoned editor of an opposition newspaper yesterday as part of a decree ordering the release of dozens of political prisoners, according to local and international press reports.

Rauf Arifoglu, editor-in-chief of Yeni Musavat, had been jailed for 17 months after his arrest during the unrest that followed Aliyev's disputed 2003 election. Aliyev has come under sustained criticism from human rights and press freedom groups, which charged that the government has used widespread imprisonment to silence its critics.
March 21, 2005 12:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   Turkmenistan

Russian correspondent forced to leave Ashgabat

New York, March 18, 2005—One of the few foreign journalists in Turkmenistan, the Ashgabat correspondent for the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, has been forced to leave the country under circumstances that remain unclear.

Viktor Panov was seen in handcuffs at Ashgabat's airport accompanied by several men in civilian cloths who led him to a Moscow-bound flight on March 12, The Associated Press reported. Panov, who holds Russian and Turkmen citizenship, has been RIA Novosti's Ashgabat correspondent since the mid-1990s.
March 18, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Russia

Authorities intensify persecution of independent newspaper

New York, March 16, 2005—Russian authorities in Chechnya and the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod are escalating their campaign of harassment and intimidation against Pravo-Zashchita (Rights Defense), a monthly newspaper that covers human rights abuses in Chechnya, according to local press reports.

The newspaper is published by the nongovernmental organization Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS) and is distributed in the North Caucasus and several other Russian cities.
March 16, 2005 12:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   Russia

Supreme Court upholds acquittal in Kholodov murder case

New York, March 16, 2005—In a major setback in the decade-long quest to bring the killers of slain Russian journalist Dimitry Kholodov to justice, the Military Collegium of Russia's Supreme Court on Monday upheld a June 2004 acquittal of six military officers accused of murdering Kholodov.

Kholodov, a reporter for the Moscow-based independent newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, was killed in October 1994 after criticizing then Defense Minister Pavel Grachev. Two separate trials failed to lead to convictions for the suspects.
March 16, 2005 12:00 PM ET


Cuba, Gambia, Iraq, Panama, Ukraine

CPJ Update

CPJ Update
March 16, 2005

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists
March 16, 2005 12:00 AM ET


Alerts   |   France, Iraq

Cameraman killed

New York, March 14, 2005—The Committee to Protect Journalists is investigating today's murder of an Iraqi cameraman in Mosul who was working for a Kurdish television station.

According to several international press reports, gunmen shot and killed Hussam Hilal Sarsam, listed in some reports Hussam Habib. The reports stated that the journalist was kidnapped before his murder, but there is conflicting information about when he was kidnapped.
March 14, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bosnia, China, Colombia, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Yemen

Attacks on the Press in 2004: Facts

When U.S.-led forces waged an offensive in Fallujah in November and a state of emergency was declared, the Iraqi interim government's Higher Media Commission directed the media to "set aside space in your news coverage to make the position of the Iraqi government, which expresses the aspirations of most Iraqis, clear." Those that didn't comply faced legal action.

Local officials in China often impose media blackouts on sensitive topics. In 2004, topics included rural riots, coal-mining accidents, and the outbreak of the bird flu. When Beijing University journalism professor Jiao Guobiao wrote an essay criticizing the Central Propaganda Bureau and its designation of banned topics, he lost his teaching position and became a banned topic himself.

March 14, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   China, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Vietnam, Yugoslavia

Attacks on the Press in 2004: Preface by Tom Brokaw

Remember 1989? The collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of democracy and democratic institutions in the old Communist bloc, including Mother Russia, inspired a new generation of journalists in places where a free press had been a state crime. Other journalists in other places, such as Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and China, were showing a new boldness and courage that gave rise to the hope that we were entering a golden age of press freedom.

March 14, 2005 11:59 AM ET



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