Media laws bring new challenges for press

From Benin to Belarus, the Committee to Protect Journalists records the proposal and passage of restrictive media laws. In Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko signs into law rules to stifle online news and debate and block access to foreign websites. In Kenya, despite protests, right, a security bill to muzzle press coverage of terror attacks is passed. In Benin, parliament is due to vote on a media bill that threatens jail for journalists who insult the president and government officials.
AFP/Simon Maina

Blog   |   Belarus, Ukraine

Remembering Pavel Sheremet, IPFA honoree, friend to CPJ, and hard-nosed journalist

Pavel Sheremet, who died yesterday when a bomb blew up the car he was driving in Kiev, was a CPJ International Press Freedom awardee in 1998. At the awards ceremony in the glittery Waldorf-Astoria Hotel that November, Sheremet was a no show.

July 21, 2016 3:55 PM ET


Alerts   |   Belarus

Belarus adopts restrictive media law amendments, blocks websites

New York, December 23, 2014--The Belarusian parliament adopted amendments to a restrictive media law last week, and President Aleksandr Lukashenko signed them on December 20, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the broad and vaguely worded provisions of the law, which extend restrictions on the traditional press to the online media. The amendments will be implemented on January 1.

December 23, 2014 2:51 PM ET


Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cameroon, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

China is world's worst jailer of the press; global tally second worst on record

More than 200 journalists are imprisoned for their work for the third consecutive year, reflecting a global surge in authoritarianism. China is the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2014. A CPJ special report by Shazdeh Omari

An Egyptian protester calls for the release of freelance photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, who has been imprisoned since August 2013. (AP/Amr Nabil)

Case   |   Belarus

Belarusian journalist released from KGB jail, banned from travelling

Aleksandr Alesin, journalist with the Minsk-based independent newspaper Belorusy i rynok (Belarusians and the Market), was released from prison on December 10, 2014, but banned from traveling outside Belarus pending investigation, local and international press reported.

December 16, 2014 4:32 PM ET


Alerts   |   Belarus

Belarusian journalist held by the KGB on espionage charges

New York, December 8, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called for the immediate release of journalist Aleksandr Alesin, who according to news reports is being held by the Belarusian national security service, known as the KGB.

Attacks on the Press   |   Belarus

Attacks on the Press in 2013: Belarus

The authoritarian regime of Aleksandr Lukashenko made a few concessions this year while trying to improve relations with the U.S. and the European Union. Authorities reversed their repressive stance in several high-profile cases, including dropping criminal defamation charges against one journalist and allowing Irina Khalip, a reporter serving a suspended jail term, to travel outside Belarus. The KGB also announced that it would not file charges against a journalist who was accused of complicity in an illegal border crossing in what became known as the "teddy bear case." Critics of the government warned the EU that Lukashenko was not implementing liberal reforms but merely trading "hostages" in exchange for the EU's easing of political and economic sanctions. Reports by a local press freedom group, the Belarusian Association of Journalists, supported the accusations: Authorities continued to harass Khalip, detained independent journalists, and denied accreditation to critical broadcasters and several local journalists. A court declared that a press photo album contained extremist materials and ordered it destroyed. Lukashenko instructed KGB's digital arm, the Operative Analytical Center, to intensify its control over the Web, saying that the media and social networks had the capacity to destabilize the country.

February 12, 2014 1:25 AM ET

Statements   |   Belarus

Belarus must lift all restrictions on Irina Khalip

New York, July 17, 2013--As a court prepares to review the case of Belarusian journalist Irina Khalip on Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on local authorities to end their persecution of Khalip and allow her return to a free life.

July 17, 2013 4:19 PM ET

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Case   |   Belarus

Belarus police briefly detain two reporters at a rally

Police in Minsk on April 26, 2013, detained for three days two reporters for the Poland-based Radio Racyja, according to the local press. The journalists, Gennady Barbarich and Aleksandr Yaroshevich, were taken into police custody on disobedience charges after reporting on a state-authorized rally, called Chernobylskiy Shlyakh, in commemoration of the April 1986 nuclear plant explosion in Chernobyl.

Blog   |   Belarus

Archaic court ruling in Belarus as photo book banned

The cover of the Belarus Press Photo Album. (AP)

Thursday's court ruling in the western Grodno region of Belarus is not befitting a modern European country, where servants of justice--prosecutors and judges--are expected to ensure protection for press freedom and human rights. Instead, it is reminiscent of medieval Europe, where dissent was declared heresy and ordered destroyed.

The Oshmyansky District Court ruled that the 2011 edition of the Belarus Press Photo album contained extremist materials that "deliberately contort" social, economic, and political life in the country. Belarus Press Photo is an independent press photography contest that aims to support, promote, and develop local photojournalism, according to its mission statement.

April 19, 2013 12:23 PM ET


Alerts   |   Belarus

Belarusian authorities push Khalip to go into exile

Irina Khalip has long been subjected to harassment. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)

New York, February 19, 2013--Belarusian authorities must stop harassing Irina Khalip and trying to force the prominent Novaya Gazeta reporter into exile, the Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement today.

On Monday, Aleksandr Kupchenya, head of the corrections department of the Minsk City Police Directorate, told Khalip that she should use the opportunity of her travel ban being temporarily lifted to leave the country permanently, she told the Minsk-based Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ).

February 19, 2013 4:45 PM ET


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