Europe & Central Asia


Alerts   |   Kazakhstan

Kazakh authorities censor news on deadly clashes

New York, December 20, 2011--Authorities in the Mangistau region of western Kazakhstan have attacked and detained independent journalists and blocked access to news outlets to suppress coverage of unrest there, news reports said. The Committee Protect today called on Kazakh authorities to allow the media unfettered access.

Alerts   |   Russia

Russia must act after murder of Dagestani paper founder

Journalist Gadzhimurad Kamalov was shot to death late Thursday night by a masked assailant. (AP)
New York, December 16, 2011--Russian authorities must carry out an urgent and effective investigation into Thursday night's assassination of Gadzhimurad Kamalov, founder of the independent weekly Chernovik, which had tackled highly sensitive topics in the southern republic of Dagestan, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

December 16, 2011 4:33 PM ET


Alerts   |   Russia

Russian journalists detained while covering protests

Police officers attempt to detain a journalist from Kommersant during a rally in Russia protesting the results of the parliamentary elections. (Reuters)

New York, December 6, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns heavy-handed actions by Russian authorities who have detained at least six journalists covering the protests that followed Sunday's parliamentary election. International observers have cited irregularities in the voting, officially won by United Russia, the party headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

December 6, 2011 4:25 PM ET


Alerts   |   Turkmenistan

Reporter gets five years in Turkmenistan

New York, October 5, 2011 -- The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the sentencing today of Dovletmurad Yazguliyev, a local correspondent for the Turkmen service of the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), to five years in prison on charges of inciting a relative's suicide attempt.

Alerts   |   Russia

Retired police official charged in Politkovskaya murder

Pavlyuchenkov in a Moscow court. (AP/Ivan Sekretarev)
New York, September 2, 2011--Russia's Investigative Committee brought charges today against retired police Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov in connection with the 2006 murder of renowned investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, and named convicted criminal Lom-Ali Gaitukayev as an organizer of the slaying.

Alerts   |   Russia

In Russia, new suspect detained in Politkovskaya's slaying

New York, August 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the detention of a new suspect in the murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya, left, who was shot in her apartment building in 2006.

The suspect, retired Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, is said to have formed a criminal group tasked with killing her, and the journalist's colleagues hope he can help lead to the mastermind of the slaying.

Letters   |   UK

UK must not undermine news media

Dear Prime Minister Cameron: The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned about the steps to curb recent riots in the United Kingdom that are under consideration by your government. These measures would set alarming precedents that hinder press freedom and the free flow of information.

August 17, 2011 4:38 PM ET


Statements   |   Tajikistan

BBC reporter released in Tajikistan

New York, July 14, 2001--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release today of Urinboy Usmonov, a BBC World Service correspondent, detained in June in Tajikistan and calls on authorities to fully exonerate him and remove restrictions on travel.  Tajik authorities released Usmonov on bail but continue to charge him with extremism while imposing a travel ban, according to the BBC.
July 14, 2011 1:46 PM ET


Alerts   |   Tajikistan

Tajikistan continues to hold BBC journalist

New York, July 13, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists urges Tajik prosecutors in Khujand, northern Tajikistan, to drop politicized extremism charges against BBC reporter Urinboy Usmonov, and calls for his immediate release. The journalist is being charged with failing to report the activities of the Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir to Tajik law enforcement agencies, Usmonov's lawyer, Faiziniso Vokhidova, told the Tajik service of the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Radio Ozodi).

July 13, 2011 5:53 PM ET


Alerts   |   Belarus

Dozens of journalists detained in Belarus crackdown

New York, July 7, 2011--Belarusian authorities must immediately cease their ongoing crackdown against the independent press and release all journalists in state custody, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police in Minsk and other cities across the country detained at least 28 journalists on Wednesday who were covering protest rallies that opposition activists have been holding weekly since late May, according to the Minsk-based Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) and reports in the local and international press

Alerts   |   Ethiopia, Sweden

Ethiopia detains two Swedish journalists

Persson (Kontinent)

New York, July 5, 2011--Two Swedish journalists reporting on the activities of armed separatists operating in an oil-rich province of eastern Ethiopia have been detained without charge since Thursday in the Horn of Africa nation, according to news reports and government officials.

Ethiopian security forces arrested photojournalist Johan Persson and reporter Martin Schibbye, contributors to the Sweden-based agency Kontinent, along the border with neighboring Somalia, government spokesman Bereket Simon told CPJ.

Alerts   |   Belarus

Belarus police detain and beat a dozen reporters

Belarus plainclothes policemen detain protesters during a Minsk protest on Wednesday. (AP)

New York, June 30, 2011--In a new crackdown against the independent press, Belarusian police briefly detained and beat more than a dozen reporters, and broke their equipment at a Wednesday protest rally in Minsk and Brest, according to news reports and CPJ sources in Belarus. 

Statements   |   Afghanistan, France

French journalists released in Afghanistan

New York, June 29, 2001--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes reports from the French government that journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier and their interpreter Reza Din have been released after more than 18 months in captivity. CPJ is seeking further news about the group's fixer and driver, known as Ghulam and Sattar, who were also abducted.

Letters   |   Kyrgyzstan

Otunbayeva must halt persecution in Kyrgyzstan

President Otunbayeva: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply disturbed by the ongoing prosecution of two media owners and the imprisonment of a reporter on charges of inciting and participating in violent ethnic conflict last year. The persecution of Khalil Khudaiberdiyev, Dzhavlon Mirzakhodzhayev, and Azimjon Askarov--all ethnic Uzbeks--tarnishes your stated commitments to press freedom and rule of law, and derails your government's efforts to rebuild interethnic trust in a nation deeply divided by the June 2010 conflict.

June 14, 2011 12:32 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Russia

Suspected gunman indicted in Anna Politkovskaya's murder

This image of Anna Politkovskaya and two men on trial for her murder on a map where she was killed was shown in a court in Moscow in 2008. The men were acquitted. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov)
New York, June 2, 2011--Rustam Makhmudov, the suspected gunman in the 2006 murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, was indicted in Moscow today, according to Russian press reports. The charges follow Makhmudov's arrest in Chechnya on Tuesday. The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed these developments and called on investigators to continue their efforts to solve the killing.

Alerts   |   Kazakhstan

Kazakh prosecutor ignores threats against journalist

New York, May 17, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is appalled by the refusal of a regional prosecutor in Uralsk, western Kazakhstan, to investigate a threatening call against Alla Zlobina, a regional correspondent for the embattled independent weekly Golos Respubliki. Zlobina's daughter was also intimidated. CPJ calls upon regional authorities to thoroughly probe the incidents and bring those responsible to justice.

May 17, 2011 5:45 PM ET


Alerts   |   Belarus

Irina Khalip handed a suspended two-year prison term

Khalip (Reuters)

New York, May 16, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's conviction and sentencing of Irina Khalip, the Minsk-based correspondent for the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and calls on Belarusian authorities to acquit her on appeal. 

Today, the Zavodskoi District Court in Minsk declared Khalip guilty of "organizing and preparing activities severely disruptive of public order," and gave her a two-year suspended prison term, local and international press reported. The charges stem from her critical reporting on the December 19 protests in Minsk against the rigged presidential vote held the same day.

May 16, 2011 3:05 PM ET


Alerts   |   Kyrgyzstan

Media owners prosecuted, forced out of Kyrgyzstan

New York, May 13, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Kyrgyz authorities today to drop trumped-up criminal charges against the founder and director of the largest regional television channel, Osh TV, and the founder, owner, and director of three now-defunct media outlets--the independent broadcaster Mezon TV, and newspapers Itogi Nedeli and Portfel.

Alerts   |   Italy

Italian prosecutor files defamation lawsuit, shutters blog

Giuliano Mignini (AP)

New York, May 11, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Florence and Perugia authorities to drop the trumped-up defamation lawsuit against Perugia Shock, an English-language blog created and maintained by Frank Sfarzo, an Italian freelance journalist and blogger. Sfarzo has endured sustained harassment in retaliation for his reporting and commentary on the official investigation into the November 2007 murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher.

Alerts   |   Russia

Two sentenced in Baburova murder in Russia

Anastasiya Baburova (Novaya Gazeta)

New York, May 6, 2011--The conviction and sentencing of two defendants in the 2009 double murder of freelance journalist Anastasiya Baburova and human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov is a landmark victory in the fight against impunity in press killings in Russia, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Moscow City Court Judge Aleksandr Zamashnyuk gave defendant Nikita Tikhonov life in a strict-regime penal colony. Yevgeniya Khasis, Tikhonov's common-law wife, will serve an 18-year term in a regular-regime penal colony as an accomplice in the murder, local and international press reported. Tikhonov and Khasis denied involvement in the murder, and their lawyers filed an appeal, the BBC Russian service reported. When he announced the sentence, Zamashnyuk said the two committed the crime with other unidentified accomplices, the Moscow-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported.

Alerts   |   Moldova

Journalist pardoned in Transdniester region

Novy Region

New York, May 6, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of independent journalist Ernest Vardanian, at left, who was unconditionally pardoned by the president of the unrecognized separatist Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR). 

Vardanian had served more than a year of jail time since the PMR arrested him on treason charges in April 2010; he was accused of allegedly spying for Moldova proper. Vardanian denied the charges. He was convicted in December in a closed trial and was serving a 15-year-long term until his pardon on Thursday. The PMR, commonly known as Transdniester, broke away from Moldova proper in 1990.

May 6, 2011 4:26 PM ET


Alerts   |   Russia

Two suspects found guilty in Baburova murder in Russia

Anastasiya Baburova (Novaya Gazeta)

New York, April 29, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the guilty verdict in the 2009 murder of Anastasiya Baburova, freelance reporter with the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, who was shot and killed in Moscow along with human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov. Markelov had represented Novaya Gazeta journalists in various legal cases. 

Alerts   |   Belarus

After deadly metro blast, Belarus cracks down on press

New York, April 26, 2011--Belarusian authorities must immediately stop harassing independent media outlets in retaliation for their critical reporting on the recent lethal bombing on the Minsk subway, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Following the blast, authorities--including the Information Ministry, the general prosecutor's office, and the Belarusian security service (KGB)--launched a campaign of intimidation against independent and pro-opposition media outlets that reported on the incident. The outlets targeted for retaliation have criticized the official investigation into the explosion and the rescue efforts.

April 26, 2011 5:39 PM ET

Letters   |   Italy

In Italy, journalists threatened for reporting on murders

President Napolitano: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about local authorities' harassment of journalists and media outlets who criticize the official investigation into the November 2007 brutal murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher in the central Italian city of Perugia. CPJ is particularly troubled by the manifest intolerance to criticism displayed by Perugia Public Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who has filed or threatened to file criminal lawsuits against individual reporters, writers, and press outlets, both in Italy and the United States, in connection with the Kercher murder investigation as well as the investigation into the Monster of Florence serial killings.

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Swedish television crew detained, deported

New York, April 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed dismay today over Azerbaijan's deportation of a Swedish television crew that had arrived in Baku to film a documentary on human rights and freedom of speech. CPJ urged Azerbaijani authorities to stop obstructing the international press.

Alerts   |   Kazakhstan

After attack, Kazakhstan publisher goes missing

Publisher Daniyar Moldashev, below left, goes missing as Kazakhstan's election approaches. (Reuters, above; Respublika, below)

New York, April 1, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Kazakh authorities today to immediately investigate the whereabouts of Daniyar Moldashev, director of ADP Ltd, publisher of the independent Almaty newspaper Respublika.

Colleagues said Thursday that Moldashev had disappeared, days after being assaulted and shortly before the country's presidential election.

"We are gravely concerned about the health and well-being of Daniyar Moldashev and call on Kazakh authorities to positively determine his whereabouts and ensure his safety," CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said.  

Alerts   |   Belarus, Poland

Reporter for Polish paper faces insult charge in Belarus


New York, March 30, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Belarusian authorities today to stop the politically motivated prosecution of Andrzej Poczobut, a prominent correspondent for Poland's largest daily, Gazeta Wyborcza.

On Monday, prosecutors in the western city of Grodno filed criminal charges against Poczobut for allegedly insulting Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in articles printed in Gazeta Wyborcza and the Belarusian news website Belarussky Partizan beginning in October 2010, local and international press reported. Poczobut faces up to two years in prison if convicted.

March 30, 2011 4:38 PM ET


Alerts   |   Kazakhstan

Kazakh investigators cast Pavlyuk murder as robbery

New York, March 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Kazakh authorities today to thoroughly investigate journalism as a motive in the murder of Kyrgyz journalist Gennady Pavlyuk. Pavlyuk, better known by his pen name, Ibragim Rustambek, died in the hospital on December 22, 2009, after having been thrown from an upper-story window of an apartment building in Kazakhstan's economic capital, Almaty, a week before. 

March 24, 2011 2:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   Ukraine

Ukraine to investigate Kuchma in Gongadze murder


New York, March 22, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes news that Ukrainian prosecutors have opened an investigation into allegations that former President Leonid Kuchma had a role in the 2000 abduction and murder of independent journalist Georgy Gongadze, left. CPJ called on Ukrainian investigators today to clarify the focus of the investigation and conduct it in a thorough and transparent manner.

March 22, 2011 5:08 PM ET


Alerts   |   Albania

CPJ concerned about Fatullayev's safety, calls for his release


New York, March 21, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed alarm today about reported threats in prison against embattled editor Eynulla Fatullayev, at left. According to CPJ interviews and local press reports, Fatullayev has feared for his life since his recent transfer to a new jail, prompting him to request that he be isolated from other inmates. Now in solitary confinement, his health has deteriorated and he has not received medical treatment, according to CPJ research.

According to Anar Gasymov, a member of Fatullayev's legal team, the journalist's life is in danger. Fatullayev received a tip that hostile inmates have been getting ready to assault him since he was transferred to Prison No. 1 in Baku on March 2, Gasymov, told the independent Caucasus news website Kavkazsky Uzel.

March 21, 2011 2:32 PM ET


Alerts   |   Hungary

Fundamental changes still needed in Hungary media law

Hungarians protest the country's new media law outside parliament. (Bernadett Szabo/Reuters)

New York, March 11, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Hungarian and European Union authorities to continue to modify a restrictive media law that parliament amended on Monday to comply with demands made by the European Commission--the institution mandated with monitoring the implementation of EU directives. Experts scrutinizing the law's modifications say the changes fall short of Hungary's press freedom commitments as an EU, Council of Europe, and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe member. 

Alerts   |   Ukraine

CPJ alarmed by manipulation of Gongadze investigation

New York, March 2, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply disturbed by the recent actions of Ukrainian authorities that threaten to upend progress in the 10-year-old investigation into the September 2000 abduction and murder of independent journalist Georgy Gongadze, at left. The Kyiv Court of Appeals ruled today to reject a second appeal by Myroslava Gongadze, the journalist's widow, against the prosecutorial downgrading of the status of the murder from a contract killing to a "killing on verbal command."
March 2, 2011 4:41 PM ET


Alerts   |   Panama, Spain

Critical Spanish journalists expelled from Panama

New York, March 2, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Panamanian government to allow two Spanish journalists and human rights activists who were expelled to return to the country. The journalists were covering and documenting an indigenous demonstration on Saturday when they were detained by authorities and accused of "disrupting public order" according to an official statement

Letters   |   Ukraine

CPJ concerned by irregularities in Ukraine's Gongadze case

Dear President Yanukovych: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by reports of irregularities in the decade-long investigation into the 2000 kidnapping and murder of Internet journalist Georgy Gongadze. Particularly, CPJ is disturbed by efforts to derail progress in the investigation and peg the ultimate responsibility for the murder on a dead suspect, while other leads in the case languish. Since assuming office in March, you have publicly stated your commitment to press freedom in Ukraine. The case of Georgy Gongadze is a litmus test for you and your administration, and we urge you to ensure that none of the perpetrators of his kidnapping and killing are allowed to walk free.

March 1, 2011 4:29 PM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Europe and Central Asia Analysis

On the Runet, Old-School Repression Meets New

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev launched a blog but the Kremlin promised to tightly control who can comment on it. (Reuters)

By Nina Ognianova and Danny O'Brien

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has often talked about the importance of a free press and free Internet, telling reporters before his election that the Web "guarantees the independence of mass media." He explicitly tied the two together in his first State of the Union address in November 2008, declaring that "freedom of speech should be backed up by technological innovation" and that no government official "can obstruct discussion on the Internet."

Attacks on the Press   |   Armenia

Attacks on the Press 2010: Armenia

Top Developments
• New broadcast law gives regulators broad powers to revoke TV licenses.
• Gala TV, a rare critical broadcaster, faces array of government pressures.

Key Statistic
1: Number of digital television licenses the government will grant per region. The plan will cut diversity.

As his government strengthened ties with Russia, President Serzh Sargsyan had to quell lingering domestic discontent over electoral fraud and economic woes, particularly in the construction and mining industries. New legislation granted regulators broad new powers to award and revoke licenses, while putting severe limits on the number of provincial broadcast licenses. Self-censorship remained widespread in the media, as lawlessness curbed the activities of journalists, human rights defenders, and opposition leaders.

February 15, 2011 12:47 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Azerbaijan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Azerbaijan

Top Developments
• European Court orders release of Eynulla Fatullayev; government still jails editor.
• News sites report periodic blocking, typically when sensitive stories are posted.

Key Statistic
4: Journalists interrogated by security agents after running a statement from the jailed Fatullayev

The authoritarian government of President Ilham Aliyev relied on imprisonments and an atmosphere of impunity to suppress independent journalism. Aliyev, who essentially inherited the presidency of the strategic Caspian Sea nation from his father, used the country's vast oil and gas resources to play off the competing interests of traditional partners Russia and Turkey with those of newer allies such as the European Union and the United States.

February 15, 2011 12:46 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Belarus

Attacks on the Press 2010: Belarus

Top Developments
• Authorities wage post-election crackdown, raiding newsrooms and jailing reporters.
• New Internet law requires registration of sites, tracking of user activity.

Key Statistic
20: Journalists detained as government silences coverage of election protests.

In a massive post-election crackdown, authorities raided news outlets and detained at least 20 journalists covering protests over a flawed December 19 presidential vote that delivered a new term to incumbent Aleksandr Lukashenko. Leading journalists such as Natalya Radina, editor of the pro-opposition news website Charter 97, and Irina Khalip, correspondent for the Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta, were among those being held in late year. Security agents stormed newsrooms of major outlets, including Radio for Belarus and the satellite television channel Belsat. Observers with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe criticized the government for secretive vote-counting practices and suppression of news media.

February 15, 2011 12:45 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Kazakhstan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Kazakhstan

Top Developments
• New laws restrict online news media, shield government officials from scrutiny.
• OSCE chairman Kazakhstan undermines organization with repression at home.

Key Statistic
44 Defamation complaints filed in first six months of 2010, many of them by government officials.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev's government failed to deliver the press freedom reforms it had promised in exchange for gaining 2010 chairmanship of the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE. Not only did the government renege on explicit pledges to decriminalize libel and bring press laws in line with international standards, it enacted a restrictive new measure governing Internet content and a sweeping privacy law that shielded government officials from public scrutiny.

February 15, 2011 12:28 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Kyrgyzstan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Kyrgyzstan

Top Developments
• Bakiyev censors news media in a failed attempt to hold power.
• Amid ethnic clashes, Uzbek journalists and outlets targeted for reprisals.

Key Statistic
2: Ethnic Uzbek journalists imprisoned as of December 1.

In a year of political revolt and deadly ethnic turmoil, successive presidential administrations cracked down on the press, using censorship, intimidation, and imprisonment. The ouster of the authoritarian Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April, followed in June by wrenching conflict between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek residents in the south, cut a deep divide in the nation and put its democratic future at risk. At least two journalists were confined when CPJ conducted its annual census of imprisoned journalists on December 1, illustrating unchanging repression despite changes in leadership.

February 15, 2011 12:27 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Russia

Attacks on the Press 2010: Russia

Top Developments
• Some progress in journalist murder probes, but attacks continue with impunity.
• FSB given broad detention powers in measure that targets critical media.

Key Statistic
5: Unsolved journalist murder cases that Russia's top investigators pledged to reopen.

The nation's top investigative agency reopened a series of unsolved journalist murders and reported progress on several fronts. But with convictions elusive, impunity in anti-press attacks continued to stain the nation's international image. Russia ranked eighth on CPJ's 2010 Impunity Index, reflecting one of the worst records in the world, as all but one of 19 press murders since 2000 went unsolved. While no journalists were murdered in 2010, at least one reporter was brutally beaten in retaliation for his work. And that assailant, like nearly all attackers in anti-press cases, remained at large.

February 15, 2011 12:19 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Serbia

Attacks on the Press 2010: Serbia

Top Developments
• Authorities win convictions in anti-press attacks, improve access to information.
• Constitutional Court strikes down restrictive media ownership regulations.

Key Statistic
3: Suspects convicted and sentenced to prison for threats against B92 journalist.

Serbian authorities stepped up law enforcement efforts in attacks against journalists, winning convictions in high-profile cases, even as they pursued some restrictive media policies. These sometimes contradictory media practices reflected the broader political goals of President Boris Tadic, who pursued liberal policies such as seeking European Union membership and reconciling with neighboring Balkan states, while appealing to conservatives by refusing to recognize Kosovo's independence and failing to arrest indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic.

February 15, 2011 12:17 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Ukraine

Attacks on the Press 2010: Ukraine

Top Developments
• Provincial reporters targeted in a series of attacks; editor reported missing.
• Television journalists continue to face heavy political influence.

Key Statistic
1: Mastermind identified in Gongadze murder. Prosecutors stir controversy by blaming only a dead official for the plot.

The disappearance of a critical editor, a series of violent attacks, and several instances of politicized government regulation fueled deteriorating press freedom conditions. Authorities brought charges against another suspect in the 2000 murder of editor Georgy Gongadze, but they ended their long investigation amid controversy by naming a dead official as the sole mastermind.

February 15, 2011 12:08 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Uzbekistan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Uzbekistan

Top Developments
• State deploys analysts to build sweeping criminal defamation cases.
• Numerous regional and international news websites are blocked.

Key Statistic
6: Journalists in prison on December 1, the highest figure in the region.

Even as President Islam Karimov was calling for more "active" news reporting, his government was rolling out a new tactic designed to quash critical journalism. Using an obscure state agency to formulate the charges, Uzbek prosecutors arrested at least three journalists on vague allegations of defamation. In one of the cases, a photographer was convicted of insulting the whole of Uzbek citizenry with her images of life in rural Uzbekistan.

February 15, 2011 12:06 AM ET

Alerts   |   Russia

Guardian correspondent expelled from Russia


New York, February 8, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Russian authorities today to allow Luke Harding, Moscow correspondent for the U.K. Guardian, to return to Russia and resume his work. Harding, at left, was refused entry to Russia on Saturday.

The journalist had temporarily returned to London in the fall to report on U.S. diplomatic cables released to the Guardian by WikiLeaks. He tried to re-enter the country on a valid visa, but was turned down at Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport, Harding told CPJ. A guard seized his passport and led him to a detention unit. He told the journalist: "Access to Russia is closed to you," without further explanation, Harding said.

February 8, 2011 5:20 PM ET


Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan denies Fatullayev's appeal, defies ECHR ruling

Fatullayev (IRFS)

New York, February 1, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged that the Baku Appeals Court has rejected imprisoned editor Eynulla Fatullayev's latest appeal and continues to defy a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that called for his release.

On January 25, the court denied Fatullayev's appeal of his July conviction on a trumped-up charge of drug possession, the independent Caucasus news website Kavkazsky Uzel reported. His lawyers will contest the ruling at Azerbaijan's Supreme Court, and file a new case at the European court, his father, Emin Fatullayev, told CPJ.

February 1, 2011 5:49 PM ET


Alerts   |   Belarus

Belarus frees Radina, Khalip but sets severe restrictions

New York, January 31, 2011--Belarusian authorities must lift restrictions on newly freed journalists Natalya Radina and Irina Khalip, and drop the fabricated charges against them, the Committee to Protect Journalist said today. CPJ also called for the immediate release of the still-jailed reporters Boris Goretsky and Yevgeny Vaskovich.

Letters   |   Uzbekistan

EU should press Uzbekistan on news media crisis

Dear President Barroso: We're writing in advance of your January 24 meeting in Brussels with Uzbek President Islam Karimov to urge you to raise Uzbekistan's grave press freedom conditions and to make clear to Karimov that any improvement of the country's relationship with Europe is dependent on him taking steps to fix the press freedom crisis. The European Union made clear it is committed to human rights in Central Asia in its 2009 plan, "The European Union and Central Asia: The New Partnership in Action."

January 19, 2011 4:52 PM ET


Alerts   |   Belarus

In Belarus, two more independent journalists jailed

New York, January 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists deplores the ongoing imprisonment of independent journalists in Belarus and urges authorities to cease their crackdown and release all jailed reporters and editors. On Monday, authorities in Minsk and the eastern city of Mogilev jailed two more independent reporters on politicized charges. 

January 18, 2011 2:34 PM ET


Alerts   |   Belarus

Journalists continue to be detained and tried in Belarus

New York, January 13, 2011--As a part of the ongoing crackdown in Belarus on independent reporters, the Belarusian security service (KGB) has detained journalist Andrzej Poczobut, a Grodno correspondent for the largest Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, and freelance reporter Irina Charniauka in Minsk, local press reported today. Poczobut was also summarily tried and fined
January 13, 2011 4:35 PM ET


Alerts   |   Belarus

More raids on journalists' homes amid Belarus crackdown

New York, January 12, 2011--As part of an ongoing assault on the independent press in Belarus, KGB agents in Minsk raided the apartments of imprisoned journalist Irina Khalip and her mother, Lyutsina Khalip, and took the journalist's computer, the independent news website Charter 97 reported. Today's raids are the second at each apartment since the agency imprisoned the journalist on December 20, according to Charter 97. Khalip is the local correspondent for the Moscow-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. 

January 12, 2011 3:53 PM ET


Alerts   |   Belarus

Post-election crackdown on the press continues in Belarus

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov holds a portrait of imprisoned journalist Irina Khalip during a rally in front of the Belarussian Embassy in Moscow. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)
New York, January 11, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the ongoing official crackdown against the independent media in Belarus. The Belarusian security service, known as the KGB, continues to relentlessly raid newsrooms, confiscate reporting equipment from publications and journalists' homes, imprison independent and pro-opposition journalists, and harass their families.

Letters   |   Hungary

Hungary must repeal repressive new media law

Dear Prime Minister Orban: The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on you to work toward the immediate repeal of Hungary's new, severely restrictive media law. "On Media Services and Mass Media," better known as the Media Act, was approved by the Hungarian parliament on December 21 and signed by President Pal Schmitt on December 30, despite domestic and international alarm at the potentially devastating effect on press freedom. The measure came into force on January 1, the same day Hungary assumed the rotating European Union presidency, sending the very damaging message that Hungary is seeking to nullify citizens' internationally recognized rights to free expression and access to information.

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