Europe & Central Asia


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


Attacks on the Press   |   Burundi, China, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Lithuania, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Vietnam

Attacks on the Press in 2004: Introduction

by Ann Cooper

With its myriad dangers and devastating death toll, Iraq remained the worst place to practice journalism throughout 2004, and one of the most dangerous media assignments in recent history. Twenty-three journalists and 16 media support workers were killed on the job in Iraq during the year. An insurgent kidnapping campaign also posed severe threats--at least 22 journalists were abducted, and one of them was executed by his captors.

Attacks on the Press   |   Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Attacks on the Press 2004: Africa Analysis

by Julia Crawford

With the rule of law weak in many African countries, journalists regularly battle threats and harassment, not only from governments but also from rogue elements, such as militias. Repressive legislation is used in many countries to silence journalists who write about sensitive topics such as corruption, mismanagement, and human rights abuses. If fewer journalists were killed or imprisoned in Africa than in some other regions in 2004--two were killed and 19 were behind bars for their work at year's end--the problems they face are insidious and ongoing.

Attacks on the Press   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia

Attacks on the Press 2004: Europe and Central Asia Analysis

by Alex Lupis

Authoriatarian rulers strengthened their hold on power in many former Soviet republics in 2004. Their secretive, centralized governments aggressively suppressed all forms of independent activity, from journalism and human rights monitoring to religious activism and political opposition.


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