Malawian police beat journalist Henry Kijimwana Mhango for reporting on COVID-19

Malawian authorities should investigate the police attack on journalist Henry Kijimwana Mhango, and ensure that those responsible are held to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On January 22, a group of at least seven police officers in the Old Town area of Lilongwe, the capital, attacked Mhango, a freelance reporter who contributes to the U.K. daily The Telegraph, with pipes and sticks after he asked permission to photograph them enforcing COVID-19 regulations, according to a report by the Malawi Voice news website and Mhango, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview. “Authorities in Malawi…Read more

Arrest warrant issued for Indian journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta in defamation case

Authorities in the Indian state of Gujarat should drop their arrest warrant for journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, and the Adani Group conglomerate should stop trying to intimidate journalists with legal harassment, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The Adani Group initiated criminal and civil defamation suits in 2017 against Guha Thakurta and three of his colleagues at the Economic and Political Weekly, a peer-reviewed academic journal, over an article alleging that the company had used its political influence to obtain favorable government policies, according to news reports, CPJ documentation from 2017, and Anand Yagnik, Guha Thakurta’s…Read more

Internet access cut, social media banned during Uganda elections

Ugandan authorities should immediately cease all efforts to disrupt internet access in the country and allow the press to cover the country’s elections freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said . Yesterday, the Uganda Communications Commission, the country’s broadcasting and telecommunication regulator, ordered telecommunications providers to suspend internet services in the country until further notice, according to a statement posted on Facebook by one of the providers, Africell, a separate statement by another company, MTN Uganda, which CPJ reviewed, and a copy of a letter from the commission to Simbanet, which was posted on social media…Read more

Police beat, detain journalists covering opposition candidates ahead of Uganda elections

Ugandan security forces should stop harassing and attacking journalists, and should ensure that the press can freely cover the country’s upcoming elections, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Since December 11, security officers have assaulted at least 10 journalists covering opposition events ahead of the country’s January 14 presidential election, and briefly detained at least two members of the press and questioned them about their work, according to media reports and journalists who spoke with CPJ. “The unabated violence and hostility against journalists ahead of Uganda’s general election is shocking. Reporting on the opposition…Read more

Photographer Abul Kalam detained in Bangladesh after documenting refugee relocation

Bangladeshi authorities should immediately release photographer Abul Kalam and allow the press to freely cover refugee issues in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On December 28, authorities at the Kutupalong Registered Camp, a refugee camp in the southeastern city of Cox’s Bazar, detained Kalam after he photographed the government transfer of Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char Island, according to news reports. Kalam was arrested in response to a complaint filed by Khalilur Rahman, an official at the camp, who alleged that Kalam was involved in violence in Rohingya refugee camps in…Read more

Ghana journalist Oheneba Boamah Bennie held for 2 days, charged over Facebook posts

Authorities in Ghana should immediately drop all charges against journalist Oheneba Boamah Bennie and allow him work freely, say the Committee to Protect Journalists. On December 14, Ghanaian police arrested Bennie, a host and commentator with the privately owned Power FM broadcaster, and detained him until he was released on bail on December 16, Bennie told CPJ over the phone. Authorities allege that videos Bennie posted to his personal Facebook page on December 9 and 10, in which he described Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Ado as anti-democratic, constituted violations of the country’s constitution, according to court documents…Read more

Sierra Leone journalist Mahmud Tim Kargbo charged over police reporting

Sierra Leone authorities should immediately drop all charges against journalist Mahmud Tim Kargbo and allow him to work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists have said. On December 4, a magistrate court in the capital, Freetown, charged Kargbo with sharing “insulting” and “scurrilous” information via Facebook and WhatsApp about the country’s assistant inspector-general of police, which allegedly caused the official’s “annoyance,” according to Kargbo, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview, and a copy of the charge sheet, which CPJ reviewed. Authorities held Kargbo in the Pademba Road Prison for about two…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

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