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

Indian Supreme Court denies government request for prior censorship of COVID-19 news

The Indian government, on 31 March, approached the Supreme Court seeking a directive to news outlets to refrain from publishing any COVID-19-related news without clearance from the government, according to an affidavit filed by the government in the court and a report by the legal news website Live Law. The Supreme Court denied the request, according to the judgment reviewed by CPJ. The government had justified the request for the blanket order by claiming that “fake or inaccurate” reporting could cause panic in the country and had proposed setting up a “separate mechanism” for clearance of any coverage…Read more

BBC Africa’s “disproportionate and dangerous” dismissal of a journalist

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns BBC Africa’s decision to fire a journalist over an interview about the Rwandan genocide that supposedly annoyed the Rwandan government. The dismissal was “disproportionate” and will help to intimidate journalists who tackle this controversial subject, including those outside Rwanda, RSF said. Jacques Matand Diyambi, a Congolese journalist working at BBC Africa in Dakar, Senegal, was fired for “serious misconduct” as a result of his interview last November with Charles Onana, the Franco-Cameroonian author of a new book about the 1994 Rwandan genocide entitled “Rwanda, the Truth about Operation Turquoise.” The…Read more

Pakistan government secretly passes strict social media regulations

The Pakistan government should immediately roll back a set of social media regulatory measures that were passed in secret, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On January 28, the federal cabinet approved the “Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules, 2020,” a set of regulations on social media content, without public consultation; the measures were enacted in secret and were reported yesterday by The News International, an English-language daily. A copy of the regulations, which was leaked online, shows that the rules empower the government to fine or ban social media platforms over their users’…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

TV news channels blocked in Pakistan after airing opposition speeches

Pakistan authorities should immediately unblock broadcasts of privately owned news channels Capital TV, 24 News HD, and Abtak News 247, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Yesterday, Capital TV posted a notice on Twitter stating that the three channels' transmissions had been blocked by the country's broadcast regulator, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority. Later that day, the Pakistan Broadcasters Association, a private industry association, issued a statement saying that the channels had been taken off air by the regulator without being given a reason or a hearing. The move came after the channels aired speeches…Read more
Tanzania imposes 7-day publication ban on The Citizen

Tanzania imposes 7-day publication ban on The Citizen

Authorities in Tanzania should lift a seven-day publication ban on the privately owned newspaper The Citizen and allow journalists to report on matters of public interest freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The Information Services Department, which oversees newspaper licenses, temporarily suspended the publication license of The Citizen on February 27, on accusations that it published reports that were false, misleading, and seditious, according to media reports. The suspension order relates to an article on the state of Tanzanian democracy, published in July, and an article on the country's currency, published last month, according to a report by The Citizen's sister…Read more
Ugandan regulator orders news website suspended and threatens criminal charges

Ugandan regulator orders news website suspended and threatens criminal charges

Ugandan authorities should withdraw a directive ordering the suspension of the Daily Monitor news website, retract a threat of criminal proceedings against the publication, and refrain from using regulations to retaliate against journalists covering sensitive political issues, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On February 6, the Uganda Communications Commission, a broadcasting and telecommunications sector regulator, wrote a letter to the Daily Monitor's parent company, Monitor Publications Limited, ordering the company to immediately suspend publication of its news website, according to a copy of the letter seen by CPJ. The letter said that the Monitor had not…Read more

Pakistan: State persecution of media and self-censorship in 2018

pakistanpressfoundation.org  From a special coercive law to blatant censorship, the Pakistani media has witnessed many forms of oppression in its 71 years of struggle-filled existence. But in 2018 the media endured an unprecedented level of imposed "self-censorship" through tactics unbecoming of a responsible state. Those who refuse to fall in line suffer loss of readership and viewership. Unjustified cover-ups and the suppression of truth regarding crucial questions of public accountability have seriously affected the perception of the quality of democracy in Pakistan. 2018 was a year of elections. Overt and covert pressures on…Read more

Pakistan authorities block distribution of oldest newspaper

Distribution of the English-language daily Dawn, Pakistan’s oldest newspaper, is being disrupted in much of the country since it published an interview with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns this latest attack on media freedom. The interview, which reportedly displeased the Pakistani military, appeared in the 12 May (Saturday) issue and the blocking began on 15 May. According to RSF’s information, distribution is being disrupted in most of Baluchistan province, in many cities in Sindh province and in all military cantonments. The Press Council of Pakistan has notified Dawn’s…Read more