Unidentified men attack residence of Sri Lankan journalist Chamuditha Samarawickrama

Sri Lankan authorities must conduct an immediate and impartial investigation into the attack on the residence of journalist Chamuditha Samarawickrama, release the findings to the public, and hold the perpetrators accountable, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday. Around 2 a.m. Monday morning, at least three unidentified armed men arrived at the residence of Samarawickrama, a reporter for the privately owned television channel Hiru TV and host of a YouTube-based talk show Truth With Chamuditha, in the Piliyandala suburb of Colombo, according to multiple news reports, which cited Samarawickrama, security personnel on duty at…Read more

Indian journalist Rana Ayyub receives rape, death threats

Indian authorities must immediately conduct a swift and thorough investigation into threats made to Mumbai-based Washington Post columnist and freelance journalist Rana Ayyub, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. Ayyub, who has long been a victim of online trolling and threats, told CPJ that she began receiving an onslaught of threats on Twitter after she tweeted her criticism of the Saudi Arabia government’s role in the ongoing Yemen war on January 22. Since then, she has received over 26,000 tweets in response, including many rape and death threats, from social media users who posted in support of the Saudi…Read more

Bangladeshi camera operator Hossain Baksh abducted, severely beaten while covering local elections

Bangladesh authorities must conduct a swift and impartial investigation into the abduction and beating of Hossain Baksh and take steps to protect the safety of journalists covering union council elections, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. At approximately 6:45 a.m. on January 5, Hossain Baksh, a camera operator for the privately owned news channel ATN News, was abducted and severely beaten, allegedly upon the order of Asad Ali, the then-ruling Awami League-nominated chairperson candidate for a local union council election, in the Madhabpur upazila, or sub-district, of the Kamalganj upazila in the…Read more

Men raid office of Nigerian outlet Thunder Blowers, steal equipment and beat editor

Nigerian authorities should investigate the recent attack on the offices of the Thunder Blowers news website, and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. At around 8:15 p.m. on January 3, eight men entered the outlet’s office in Gusau, the capital of Nigeria’s northern Zamfara state, and demanded to see Abdul Balarabe, the website’s Hausa-language editor, who was not present, and attacked Mansur Rabiu, also an editor, according to Rabiu and Thunder Blowers managing editor and team lead, Anas Sani Anka, both of whom spoke with CPJ by phone. Rabiu said the…Read more

Islamabad High Court to indict three Pakistani journalists for criminal contempt

The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed grave concern over the Islamabad High Court’s decision to indict Pakistani journalists Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Aamir Ghauri, and Ansar Abbasi, calling it a dangerous attack on press freedom and freedom of expression. On December 28, 2021, the Islamabad High Court decided to indict Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, owner and editor-in-chief of the Jang Media Group–which owns the English-language newspaper The News International; Aamir Ghauri, editor of The News International; and Ansar Abbasi, investigations editor of The News International, for criminal contempt of court in relation to a November 15 investigative report by Abbasi, according to The…Read more

Lesotho police arrest a radio presenter, suspend one station’s license, and raid another

Authorities in Lesotho must stop their sustained efforts to gag the press and should allow journalists to operate freely without fear of arrest or being forced to disclose their sources, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On November 14, police arrested and allegedly tried to suffocate Lebese Molati, a current affairs presenter on the privately owned 357 FM in the capital, Maseru, over statements he made about missing police guns during his “Semphu Se Nkha Kaea” (Where Is The News) daily show, according to a statement by the Lesotho chapter of the regional press freedom…Read more

Tanzanian cartoonist detained over cartoon of president

Tanzanian flag with fabric structure Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns cartoonist Optatus Fwema’s arbitrary detention for the past two weeks in Tanzania over a cartoon of the president. This is the latest chilling message to journalists in a country where press freedom has been worsening steadily in recent years. Fwema has been held at Oysterbay police station in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s business capital, ever since he was arrested at his home on 24 September. The police returned to his home on 5 October to look for incriminating evidence without telling his lawyer.…Read more

Tanzania suspends newspaper for one month

The Tanzanian government’s decision to suspend an independent weekly for 30 days is “arbitrary and excessive” and a complete contradiction of the new president’s declared intention to stop sanctioning the media, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says. One of Tanzania’s most popular Swahili-language newspapers, Raia Mwema has been missing from the country’s newsstands since 6 September, one day after government spokesman Gerson Msigwa announced that it was being suspended for 30 days, above all because it identified a man who killed three police officers and an embassy security guard on 25 August as a member of the ruling…Read more

Indian finance authorities raid offices of Newslaundry and Newsclick websites

Indian authorities must stop harassing employees of the news websites Newslaundry and Newsclick and let them work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. At about noon on September 10, officials from the national Income Tax Department raided the two outlets’ offices in New Delhi as part of an investigation into alleged tax evasion, according to newsreports and statements by the outlets. Officials downloaded data from office computers and the personal cell phone and laptop of Newslaundry editor-in-chief Abhinandan Sekhri, and in the Newsclick raid took various financial documents as well as email archives from editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and Pranjal, an editor at the outlet…Read more

Sri Lanka police repeatedly interrogate journalist

Police in Batticaloa, in eastern Sri Lanka, should stop harassing journalist Punniyamoorthy Sasikaran and let him work without interference, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On August 23, officers from the Batticaloa police superintendent’s Special Crime Branch interrogated Sasikaran, a freelance Tamil journalist who is also the treasurer of the Batticaloa District Tamil Journalists Union, at a police station, according to news reports and the journalist, who communicated with CPJ by messaging app. The officers accused Sasikaran of organizing a ceremony in January that paid tribute to Indian fishermen who died at sea in…Read more