legal action

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Attacks on the Press

Right Is Might

We have the laws and institutions to fight attempts at information control
By David Kaye

Yevgeny Zamyatin's strikingly original 1920s Russian novel We gets read far less than its canonical English-language descendants, Brave New World and 1984. Yet George Orwell knew of and clearly drew from Zamyatin's book in creating 1984. The homage-paying is obvious: A solitary hero struggles to define himself in relation to society; a state and its mysteriously cultish leader control privacy, information, and thought; love is prohibited and freedom is categorically rejected; the violence and brutality of power lurk beneath a seemingly clean and mechanized society; common words are redefined and propaganda is pervasive in daily life; and, in total, reality is rejected in favor of myths and lies.

Attacks on the Press   |   Cuba

Connecting Cuba

Outdated laws and limited, expensive internet access slow the island nation's progress
By Carlos Lauría

Cuba's media landscape has begun opening up in recent years, transformed by a lively blogosphere, an increasing number of news websites carrying investigative reporting and news commentary, and an innovative breed of independent reporters who are critical of, yet still support, socialist ideas.

Attacks on the Press   |   Belgium, France, Spain

Self-Restraint vs. Self-Censorship

How much should journalists hold back when covering terrorism in Europe?
By Jean-Paul Marthoz

European journalists are on edge. Since the brutal execution of eight colleagues at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015, they have become acutely aware that they are in the firing line of extremists.

Attacks on the Press   |   Mexico

Edited by Drug Lords

Mexican journalists navigate threats and censorship by cartels
By Elisabeth Malkin

Adrián López Ortiz, the general director of Grupo Noroeste, a media group that owns the newspaper Noroeste in the northwestern Mexican city of Culiacán, was driving home from the airport in April 2014 when an SUV intercepted him. Two armed men got out and grabbed him, and he feared that he was going to be kidnapped. But they had other plans. One of them drove off in his car and the other stayed behind, kicked López and then shot him in both legs.

Attacks on the Press   |   Turkey

Willing Accomplice

Collusion by the Turkish media compounds the country's crisis
By Andrew Finkel

Turkey's bloody, failed military coup on July 15, 2016, and the ruthless crackdown that followed are testament to the country's escalating crisis of democracy. Though the crisis had been developing for years, with journalists and independent media outlets facing intense legal pressures from a government intent on serving elite interests rather than a free and open society, recent events illustrate a grave, new peril: the compliance and even complicity of the nation's mainstream media in its own emasculation and the suppression of objective news coverage.

Attacks on the Press   |   Ecuador, Mexico

Disrupting the Debate

Governments use copyright laws and Twitter bots to curb criticism on social media
By Alexandra Ellerbeck

On July 10, 2016, Ecuadoran journalist Bernardo Abad tweeted that the former vice-president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, had not paid income taxes for the year before. A week later, Abad received a message from Twitter saying his account had been blocked for violating its terms of service. Within 24 hours, at least five others' accounts were temporarily suspended after they tweeted about Moreno's taxes. By the end of the week, nine accounts had been temporarily suspended, according to the freedom of expression advocacy group Fundamedios. Twitter declined to comment on the suspensions.

Blog   |   Yemen

Collapse of state institutions leaves Yemeni journalists vulnerable

Houthis fighters secure a road between Hodeidah and Sanaa in Yemen on April 19, 2017. Journalists have been threatened and attacked in areas controlled by the Houthis. (AP/Hani Mohammed)

A journalist dies mysteriously in Yemen after receiving threats because of his work, and the resulting autopsy raises more questions than answers. A columnist in the same country is sentenced to death on espionage charges in an opaque trial.

Statements   |   Ecuador, Peru

Journalist facing charges in Ecuador files for asylum in Peru

New York, April 18, 2017--Ecuadoran journalist Fernando Villavicencio, director of the news website Focus Ecuador and a critic of outgoing President Rafael Correa, today filed a petition for political asylum in Lima, Peru. A statement from the regional press group Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS) said the journalist, who fled to Lima after presidential elections on April 2, is not guaranteed a fair trial in Ecuador, where he faces charges of distributing allegedly confidential emails sent by public officials.

April 18, 2017 4:52 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Maldives

CPJ calls on Maldives to drop case against Raajje TV journalist

New York, April 18, 2017--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Maldives' prosecutor general to drop the legal case against Raajje TV journalist Mohamed Wisam, who was acquitted last month of obstructing police at an anti-government protest in 2015. The prosecutor general lodged an appeal with the high court on April 5.

April 18, 2017 4:34 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt

Egypt's state of emergency may act to further silence press

Egypt's President Sisi, pictured in Cairo in March 2017, has declared a state of emergency and said the press needs to be more responsible. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

Hours after two bombs ripped through packed Palm Sunday services in Coptic Churches in Alexandria and Tanta on April 9, killing nearly 50 people, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced a three-month state of emergency. The measure is in many ways an extension of what has already been in place in parts of the Sinai Peninsula since 2014, and a further sign of Sisi's determination to control the flow of information in the country.

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