Criminal Defamation

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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.

Alerts   |   Peru

CPJ calls on Peru to decriminalize defamation as two journalists face court

Bogotá, Colombia, April 19, 2016--A Peruvian journalist received a suspended jail sentence Monday and was ordered to pay damages to former President Alan García Pérez after being convicted of criminal defamation, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Brazil

Court upholds criminal defamation conviction of Brazilian radio host

New York, April 7, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists is disappointed by the decision issued by a Brazilian court last week to uphold the criminal defamation conviction of radio journalist Fabiano Gomes da Silva.

April 7, 2016 12:29 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Venezuela

Venezuelan editor sentenced to 4 years in prison for criminal defamation

Bogotá, Colombia, March 11, 2016--A Venezuelan judge today sentenced David Natera Febres, the editor of an independent newspaper that investigated corruption at a state-run mining company, to four years in prison for criminal defamation, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Venezuela

Last critic standing: How El Nacional defies challenges to keep publishing

Editor Miguel Henrique Otero, pictured in El Nacional's Caracas office in 2010, has been managing the paper from exile after being accused of defamation. (AP/Fernando Llano)

Patricia Spadaro, news editor at the Caracas daily El Nacional, faces daunting challenges in putting out the newspaper. Her boss, El Nacional's president and editor Miguel Henrique Otero, has been living in exile since May 2015 after a top government official accused him of defamation. Amid the country's deep economic crisis, half of Spadaro's reporters have been laid off and there is less space for articles due to a newsprint shortage. Staff must also sometimes skip work to stand in line at supermarkets to buy milk, meat, and other scarce products.

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