Commonwealth Watch: Move to close vital studies unit infuriates academics around the world

Academics from around the world are protesting against an “irresponsible“ and  “counter-productive” proposal by the University of London to bring to an end work at one of the Commonwealth’s best respected and most valuable research units – the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS). It comes at a time when leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement are demanding that historians remove the veils that cover hideous racial crimes against black people during the zenith of British imperialism in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. Eighty -one leading academics put their names to…Read more

Crime reporter deliberately killed by speeding car in northeastern India

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities in Assam, in northeastern India, to do everything possible to ensure that the murder of Parag Bhuyan – a journalist who was well known for covering different kinds of local criminal activity and who had recently received threats – does not go unpunished. A reporter for the Pratidin Time media group and the Axomiya Khabar newspaper, Parag Bhuyan was thrown more than six metres when a speeding car deliberately struck him outside his home in Tinsukia district, in Assam state, at around 8:10 p.m. on 11 November. He died of his injuries in…Read more

RSF calls for independent media group owner’s release in Pakistan

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Pakistan’s supreme court to order the immediate release of Jang media group owner Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, also known as MSR, who has been held on a spurious charge since March and whose release on bail has been refused twice by a court in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province. The supreme court is due to hear his appeal against denial of bail next week. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman will complete his 240th day in a Lahore prison tomorrow because of a claim by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that a piece of…Read more

Maharashtra police arrest Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on authorities in the Indian state of Maharashtra to release Republic TV anchor and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami after he was arrested and ordered to be held for at least two weeks. Authorities are investigating allegations that Goswami abetted a suicide in May 2018, according to news reports. Yesterday, a local court in Alibaug, about 55 miles south of Mumbai, ordered him detained until November 18 while police investigate and decide whether to charge the journalist, according to news agency Press Trust of India. “Holding Arnab Goswami in prison while police conduct their…Read more

Nigeria journalist Oga Tom Uhia detained for weeks on defamation complaint

Authorities in Nigeria should immediately release Oga Tom Uhia, the publisher of local monthly magazine Power Steering, which covers the electrical power sector, and drop all charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On October 13, police arrested Uhia at his residence in Gwarimpa, a suburb of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, without a warrant and took him to the Force Criminal Investigation Department, according to Uhia’s lawyer, Evans Odeh, who spoke with CPJ via phone, and independent news website Forefront.  There, authorities questioned him about a complaint filed with police by Minister of…Read more

Media torched, reporters attacked in major threat to press freedom in Nigeria

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is very concerned about the physical attacks against Nigerian journalists and media in connection with the continuing protests against President Muhammadu Buhari and against violence by the SARS police unit, and calls on the authorities to put a stop to the attacks and guarantee the safety of media personnel. During yesterday’s “#EndSARS” protests in Lagos, the commercial capital, part of the TVC News channel’s studios and several of its cars were set ablaze, while gunmen on motorcycles invaded the headquarters of The Nation, one of the most popular privately-owned newspapers, and set fire to its…Read more

Daily Sangram reporter arrested in Bangladesh sedition case

Bangladeshi authorities should immediately release reporter Ruhul Amin Gazi and let him work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Yesterday evening, police officers in the Hatirjheel neighborhood of Dhaka, the capital,  arrested Gazi, a reporter with the Daily Sangram newspaper, according to news reports. The arrest came after Metropolitan Magistrate Debdash Chandra Adhikary rejected the journalist’s bail petition in an ongoing criminal investigation, according to those reports. Gazi and Daily Sangram editor Abul Asad have been under investigation for sedition since a complaint was filed in December 2019 over an article calling Abdul Quader Molla, an opposition…Read more

Indian authorities seal Kashmir Times office in Srinagar

The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned the ongoing harassment of the Kashmir Times and its editor, Anuradha Bhasin, by the Jammu and Kashmir administration and called on authorities to immediately reopen and allow staff to work from its Srinagar office. On October 19, officials from the Estates Department of the region’s administration forced out employees and sealed the Srinagar office of the independent, English-language daily Kashmir Times without advance notice or legal documentation, according to multiple news reports and Bhasin, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview. Bhasin said the newspaper has faced various retaliatory actions from authorities, including…Read more

Ghana journalist David Tamakloe arrested on false news charge

Authorities in Ghana should immediately drop all charges against journalist David Tamakloe and halt intimidation of journalists, says the Committee to Protect Journalists. On October 7, at around 5:30 pm, a group of plain-clothed police officers arrested Tamakloe, the editor in chief of the privately owned Whatsup News website, on the street near his office in Ghana’s capital, Accra, for a July 8 report that allegedly violated Ghana’s criminal code, according to Tamakloe who spoke by phone with CPJ. The July 8 report, which CPJ reviewed, alleged a pre-election crisis in the Ashanti region. Tamakloe,…Read more

Bangladeshi reporter slain by local gangsters in Dhaka suburb

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an independent investigation into yesterday’s murder of a Bangladeshi newspaper reporter whose coverage of criminal activity in an industrial area south of the capital, Dhaka, had led to the arrest of two local gang leaders. His crime must not go unpunished, RSF said. After passers-by found him lying in a pool of blood at around 8:15 pm yesterday in Bandar, a municipality that is part of Narayanganj district, Iliyas Hossain was taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead at 9 pm. Hossain’s family believe he was killed…Read more