Ugandan security personnel enforcing COVID-19 measures assault journalists

Since March 19, security forces have harassed or assaulted at least six journalists in the country while enforcing restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to the journalists, who spoke to CPJ, and a statement by the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda, a local press rights group. Uganda’s COVID-19 response measures have included a curfew and restrictions on public gatherings and transportation, according to news reports. President Yoweri Museveni classified the media as essential workers, not subject to those restrictions, according to declarations from the president and a report by the Daily Monitor.  “Journalists are essential workers and perform a…Read more

In Ghana, soldiers enforcing COVID-19 restrictions attack 2 journalists

Ghana’s military should investigate the recent attacks on the press by soldiers and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On April 5, in the Aboaba Akurem community in south-central Kumasi city, a group of soldiers attacked and briefly detained Yussif Abdul Ganiyu, a reporter with the German government-funded Deutsche Welle news agency and the local privately owned Zuria FM radio station, according to the journalist, who spoke to CPJ via phone and messaging app, and statements by the Ghana Journalist Association and Deutsche Welle spokesperson Christoph Jumpelt,…Read more

Zambia cancels broadcaster Prime TV’s license, police shutter office

Zambian authorities should restore Prime TVs broadcast license and cease harassing the outlet, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On April 9, the Independent Broadcasting Authority, Zambia’s broadcasting regulator, cancelled Prime TV’s license “in the interest of public safety, security, peace, welfare or good order,” according to a statement from the regulator, which CPJ reviewed. The statement said that Prime TV must surrender its license and cease broadcasting immediately. It did not specify any broadcasts or actions by the station’s employees that prompted the decision. On the same day, police arrived at…Read more

Five Zimbabwean reporters arrested while covering coronavirus lockdown

Zimbabwe is currently Africa’s biggest press freedom violator in connection with coronavirus crisis, with no fewer than five arrests of journalists in the past 12 days. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Zimbabwean authorities to give the police clear instructions to let journalists work freely instead of detaining them. The five journalists were all arrested while covering the lockdown that went into effect on 30 March and was ordered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa with the aim of containing the spread of the virus. The latest victim was Beatific Ngumbwanda, a reporter for the weekly TellZim, who was arrested for…Read more

Journalists assaulted by police amid coronavirus lockdown in India

Authorities in India must stop assaulting journalists and allow them to do their work freely and without restrictions, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police in Hyderabad and Delhi assaulted at least four journalists yesterday, as India began a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, according to news reports and journalists who spoke to CPJ. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a statement yesterday, reiterating that journalists are exempt from the lockdown and are free to do their work without any restriction. “Journalists are exempted from the ongoing lockdown in India because…Read more

Bomb explodes at offices of Cyprus Times

Authorities in Cyprus must quickly and thoroughly investigate the bomb attack at the offices of the Cyprus Times’ parent company, determine whether it was tied to the outlet’s journalism, and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists has said. At about 2:10 a.m. on March 4, a pipe bomb exploded outside the office of MC Digital Media Group, a building which houses the offices of the Cyprus Times news website as well as other media outlets owned by the group, in the southern Cypriot city of Limassol, according to news reports. No one was…Read more

Indian reporter M. Karthi attacked, threatened in Tamil Nadu

Indian authorities must swiftly and transparently investigate an attack on journalist M. Karthi and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. At about 8:30 p.m. on March 3, an unidentified man stopped Karthi, a reporter at the Tamil-language weekly Kumudam, in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu state, and said, “Will you publish news, you bastard? I will kill you today,” and then hit Karthi in his head and face with an iron rod, according to news reports, Karthi’s official complaint to police, which CPJ reviewed, and local reporter K. Rajendran, who spoke to…Read more

Pakistani journalist murdered after warning of threats against him

Pakistan authorities should take swift action to launch a thorough and credible investigation into the murder of journalist Aziz Memon, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Memon, who worked for the privately-owned Sindhi TV channel KTN News and the Sindhi-language Daily Kawish newspaper, was found strangled to death in an irrigation ditch yesterday near the town of Mehrabpur in the Naushahro Feroze District of Sindh province, according to newsreports. “The tragic murder of Aziz Memon deserves swift justice, which is something Pakistani authorities have repeatedly failed to deliver for journalists,” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler.…Read more

Nigerian journalist Alex Ogbu dies at protest

Nigerian authorities should conduct a credible and transparent investigation into the death of journalist Alex Ogbu, publicize the results of his autopsy, and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On January 21, Ogbu, a reporter and editor with the local independent outlet Regent Africa Times, died from head injuries sustained at a protest in Abuja, the capital, held by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria religious organization, according to Regent Africa Times publisher Shola Akingboye and Francisca Ogbu, the journalist’s wife, who both spoke to CPJ over messaging app…Read more

Three journalist arrested, two radio stations closed in Gambia

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is extremely concerned about Sunday’s serious press freedom violations in Gambia, where three journalists were arrested and others were attacked during a banned protest in the capital, and the authorities closed two radio stations.     The protesters were calling for President Adama Barrow to resign on completing the first three years of his five-year term, as he had promised to do when he took office The detained journalists are Giby Jallow, the manager of King FM, a member of his staff, and Pa Modou Bojang, the manager of Home Digital FM. The authorities closed their radio…Read more