Landmark Judgement for Gambian Media

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delivered a landmark judgment this week, finding the rights of four journalists had been violated by Gambian authorities. The judgment recognized that the country’s criminal laws on libel, sedition and false news interfere with the rights of Gambian journalists, directing that the country “immediately repeal or amend” the laws in line with its obligations under international law.  The exiled journalists -- Fatou Camara, Fataou Jaw Manneh, Alhagie Jobe and Lamin Fatty -- had been arrested and detained by authorities, later fleeing the country out of fear of further persecution.

Source: Media Defence

Posted on: February 15, 2018

CPJ: Trump Damaging Global Press Freedom

The Committee to Protect Journalists' Joel Simon in the New York Times today spared little in his critique of the Trump Administration's anti-press campaign: "In President Trump’s carpet bombing of the news media, it is not just the United States’ global reputation that is collateral damage. Rather, it is the brave journalists on the front line who risk their lives and liberty to bring the world the news. It is to our great shame that they can no longer count on the support of the United States."

Source: New York Times

Posted on: February 26, 2017

Turkey Targets Media, Not Coup Backers

With arrest warrants issued this week for 89 journalists, and the closure of at least 131 newspapers, television and radio stations, publishers and news agencies, it's clear that the Erdogan regime is targeting independent media and not coup supporters. Among the 40 journalists detained this week are leading investigative reporters and independent voices in the Turkish media.

Source: Guardian

Posted on: July 30, 2016

US State Law Protects Kazakh Journalists

In the first test of a shield law to protect journalist sources in Washington state, a U.S. court has ruled that the law applies to reporters from Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. Kazakhstan officials claimed to be hunting hackers associated with a now-exiled opposition newspaper, Respublika. The paper is registered with a Washington internet domain company, and officials wanted registration and ISP records. "Kazakhstan impermissibly seeks information" under state law, a judge ruled.


Posted on: March 22, 2016

Turkey’s Top Paper Taken Over by Govt

In the latest move toward authoritarian control and muzzling a free press, Turkish authorities today shut down and took over the country's largest newspaper, Zaman. The paper managed a final edition, declaring "The Turkish press has experienced one of the darkest days in its history." Zaman chief editor Abdulhamit Bilici was defiant. "I believe that free media will continue even if we have to write on the walls," he said after a police raid Friday. "I don't think it is possible to silence media in the digital age."

Source: BBC News

Posted on: March 5, 2016

2015, An Awful Year for Europe’s Journalists

Attacks by Islamic militants, unjustified arrests, assaults, harassment, threats and tougher legal restrictions made it harder for editors, reporters and photographers to hold the powerful to account across the region this year, according to media organizations and NGOs. “It’s been an awful year,” Ricardo Gutiérrez, general secretary of the European Federation of Journalists.


Source: Politico

Posted on: January 2, 2016

Ismayilova Hits One-Year Mark in Prison

A year has passed since Azerbaijan officials imprisoned investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova on trumped up charges. Since that time, the Khadija Project has completed nearly 20 stories continuing her work, revealing extraordinary corruption by Azerbaijan's ruling elite. More stories are planned.

Source: OCCRP

Posted on: December 6, 2015

Arrest of Egyptian Journalist Stirs Outrage Worldwide

The arrest of Hossam Bahgat, one of Egypt’s leading investigative journalists, by Egyptian military intelligence on Sunday has prompted worldwide outragee. Military prosecutors ordered his detention on charges of "spreading false information." "The Egyptian military has already indicated its contempt for the role of an independent media," said the Committee to Protect Journalists' Sherif Mansour. "This latest detention is a clear attempt to stifle reporting." 

Source: New York Times, Committee to Protect Journalists

Posted on: November 9, 2015

Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste Writes from Cairo Cell

After a year in a Cairo prison, Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, an Australian, sent an end-of-year letter to supporters: "We have galvanised an incredible coalition of political, diplomatic and media figures, as well as a vast army of social media supporters to fight for that most basic of rights: the right to know... Never has cleared-eyed, critical, sceptical journalism been more necessary."

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Posted on: December 29, 2014

Press crackdown—and pushback—in Hungary

Hungarian press freedoms have been under pressure for a while as the right-of-center government has come under fire for ham-fisted meddling at the main public television station and other moves. But what had been a tense standoff burst into open confrontation last week after the government imposed what critics say is punitive and politically targeted tax on media advertising, while the top editor of a leading independent website was ousted.

Source: Columbia Journalism Review

Posted on: June 10, 2014