Criminal Defamation

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Blog   |   Brazil

In Brazil, outdated defamation laws and costly court cases used to pressure critics

Brazilian journalist Erik Silva never imagined that printing information from a municipal government website would see him accused of defamation and lead to a drawn-out court case. But almost a year after writing about the size of salary earned by a municipal accountant in Corumbá, a city of just under 100,000 people on Brazil's western border with Bolivia, he is still fighting to clear his name.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

CPJ calls on Pakistan to free two journalists convicted of defamation

Washington D.C., January 18, 2017--Pakistan should immediately release Ikhlaque Ahmed Jokhio and Qurban Ali Gadehi, two reporters for the Sindhi-language weekly Saahiti Awaz who were sentenced to five years in prison for criminal defamation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Statements   |   Netherlands, Panama

Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein due to be freed from Panama prison

Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein, pictured in a prison compound in Panama, is due to be freed by December 23. (CPJ/Jan-Albert Hootsen)

New York, December 20, 2016--Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein is due to be released unconditionally from a Panamanian prison by December 23, his lawyer Manuel Succari told CPJ today. The journalist was named in a list published by the government today of people whose sentences were reduced as part of a presidential pardon. Ornstein was arrested November 15 over a criminal defamation conviction dating back to 2012, which carried a 20-month prison term, his lawyer said.

December 20, 2016 3:39 PM ET

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Blog   |   Panama

Jailed Dutch reporter Ornstein says Panama failed to inform him of legal proceedings

Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein pictured in Panama's Renacer prison, where he is being held for criminal defamation. (CPJ/Jan-Albert Hootsen)

A faint smile appears on Okke Ornstein's face as he recalls what happened last summer, when he traveled with a group of refugees through Europe to document their trip for a Dutch radio broadcaster.

December 13, 2016 12:00 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Panama

Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein jailed in Panama for criminal defamation

Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein is detained in Panama over a criminal defamation case. (Kimberlyn David)

New York, November 29, 2016--Authorities in Panama should immediately release Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein, who has been detained since November 15, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Ornstein, a Panama-based journalist who runs the news website Bananama Republic, was arrested in relation to a 2012 criminal defamation conviction when he arrived at Panama City international airport, according to his lawyer, Manuel Succari.

November 29, 2016 3:48 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt

'People talk as they please' Sisi says in comments on Egypt's press freedom record

President el-Sisi, pictured with Portugal's president, right, during a state visit to Lisbon. The Egyptian leader told a broadcaster he supports freedom of expression. (Jose Manuel Ribeiro/AFP)

In Egypt last week a journalist was barred from travel without official explanation, a reporter was accused of criminal defamation over a 2015 investigation on child prostitution, and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi defended Egypt's freedom of expression record. An appeal date was also set for the Journalists' Syndicate leaders who were sentenced this month to two years in prison.

Alerts   |   Myanmar

Two Myanmar journalists arrested on criminal defamation charges

Eleven Media Group's chief executive, Than Htut Aung, right, and chief editor Wai Phyo, are handcuffed in a police vehicle on November 11, over a criminal defamation case. (Romeo Gacad/AFP)

New York, November 14, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Myanmar authorities to release Than Htut Aung, chief executive of Eleven Media Group, and Wai Phyo, chief editor of the group's publication Daily Eleven. The journalists were detained November 11 and are being held in pretrial detention after being charged with criminal defamation, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Egypt

Journalists detained during Egypt's day of protests

A masked policeman gestures to a photographer in Cairo ahead of planned protests on November 11. At least four journalists were detained covering areas where rallies were due to take place. (AP/Amr Nabil)

Four journalists were detained November 11 amid a heavy deployment of security forces in Egypt's cities in response to calls for nationwide protests over economic reforms. The protests were fewer and smaller than anticipated, but journalists were still harassed and, in some cases, arrested, according to local and international media. One journalist remains in custody. Separately, a gag order on an investigation into the funding of civil society organizations remains in place, and courts are due to hear two criminal defamation cases brought by public officials against reporters.

Case   |   Brazil

Brazilian journalist convicted of criminal defamation for environmental reporting

A Salvador court sentenced Brazilian journalist Aguirre Talento to six months and six days in jail for criminal defamation on October 31, 2016, reduced to community service and a fine, according to the journalist and his lawyer. The case was the second of three separate defamation cases filed the same day over a 2010 story written by Talento and published in the newspaper, A Tarde, in the northeastern state of Bahia, according to reports.

November 10, 2016 3:38 PM ET

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Blog   |   India

In India, online campaign seeks to free press from risk of criminal defamation

India's Parliament in New Delhi. A private members' bill to decriminalize defamation will be heard during its winter session. (AFP/Money Sharma)

An online campaign to decriminalize defamation in India is being led by a member of the country's main opposition party. "Criminal defamation can lead to people being put in jail for something they have said publicly. This law needs to be replaced by a modern, progressive law," reads the statement on the campaign website.

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