Indian police arrest journalist on charges of alleged extortion and blackmail

Committee to Protect Journalists Indian regional police arrested freelance journalist Vinod Verma on October 27, 2017, on claims that he used a sex tape to extort and blackmail a minister from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Chhattisgarh region-- claims the journalist denies, according to news reports. A committee member from the BJP in Chhattisgarh lodged a complaint against Verma on October 26, alleging an anonymous threat to release objectionable videos of the minister if he did not pay hush money, according to The Indian Express, which quoted unnamed sources from…Read more

Indian police arrest journalist on charges of alleged extortion and blackmail

Indian regional police arrested freelance journalist Vinod Verma on October 27, 2017, on claims that he used a sex tape to extort and blackmail a minister from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Chhattisgarh region-- claims the journalist denies, according to news reports. A committee member from the BJP in Chhattisgarh lodged a complaint against Verma on October 26, alleging an anonymous threat to release objectionable videos of the minister if he did not pay hush money, according to The Indian Express, which quoted unnamed sources from Raipur police in the…Read more

Ugandan editors charged over presidential age limit stories

Two Ugandan newspaper editors were quizzed by the police's Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) over age limit budget stories. On 16 October 2017, Daily Monitor Executive Editor, Charles Odoobo Bichachi and Red Pepper Deputy News Editor Kintu Richard were quizzed for over three hours each. They were both charged with 'Offensive Communication/ Libel' and a General Inquiries File was opened. Daily Monitor lawyer James Nangwara described the charges as "malicious only meant to put the media off track" while the Red Pepper Legal Officer Byamukama Dickens told HRNJ-Uganda that the charges were baseless and…Read more

Car bombing kills Malta journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

The Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities in Malta to swiftly ensure justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia, a prominent blogger killed today. The car that Caruana Galizia was driving exploded near to her house in Bidnija, in the north of the island, media reported. Caruana Galizia, who reported on government corruption and the Panama Papers, told police two weeks ago that she had received death threats, according to Malta's national broadcaster TVM, which did not provide further detail. The journalist's blog, Running Commentary, which included investigative reports and commentary on politicians, was…Read more

Pakistani journalist faces terrorism and defamation charges for article critical of regional government

Authorities in Pakistan should drop charges against journalist Shabbir Siham, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan's northern Gilgit-Baltistan region summoned Siham for a hearing on October 7 on accusations of fabrication and extorting a regional minister in violation of Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Act, according to news reports and to Saeed Ahmed, the manager of the Islamabad-based Journalist Safety Hub, which provides support and training to at-risk journalists. He also faces charges of defamation under the Pakistan Penal Code, the reports said. According to the news site Dawn, Gilgit-Baltistan…Read more

India: death threats against journalists by Hindu nationalists

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Indian authorities to identify and prosecute those responsible for the many death threats against journalists in the past two weeks and reminds Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government that the safety of journalists is a cornerstone of democracy and the rule of law. The targets of a wave of threats that began on 14 September include Deeksha Sharma, a journalist with the news website The Quint, who received several messages threatening her with rape and murder after she describe a rap video as “misogynist.” One of these…Read more

Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency officials assault and briefly detain journalists

Pakistani police should launch a thorough investigation into allegations that Federal Investigation Agency officials assaulted and briefly detained journalists in Islamabad last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. An FIA officer on June 21, 2017 allegedly harassed and detained Channel 24 reporter Saba Bajeer and Dawn News reporter Aitzaz Hassan while they questioned Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq Hijazi, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, at an Islamabad hospital where he was being examined following his arrest on charges of tampering with records, according to news reports. Bajeer told CPJ…Read more

Pakistani journalist taken from home in Balochistan

Authorities in Pakistan should do everything in their power to ensure the swift release of Zafar Achakzai, a journalist for the newspaper Daily Qudrat, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Men in civilian clothes on June 25 took Achakzai, a senior reporter at the Urdu-language newspaper Daily Qudrat, from his home in Quetta, in Pakistan's restive western province of Balochistan, according to local media and Naimat Achakzai, who is the editor of Daily Qudrat and Zafar's father. Naimat Achakzai told CPJ that the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force organized by the federal…Read more

Pakistan: Journalist arrested for posting critical posts on Facebook

This statement was originally published on pakistanpressfoundation.org on 30 June 2017. Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on June 29, 2017 charged Zafar Achakzai, a journalist working for Daily Qudrat in the city of Quetta, under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016. Local journalists believe Achakzai was arrested for comments he had posted on Facebook criticizing security agencies and the arrest of Majeed Khan Achakzai, a member of the provincial assembly, for killing a traffic police constable in a hit and run car accident. Earlier, on June 25 paramilitary Frontier Corps raided Achakzai's…Read more

Royal Media group journalist Emmanuel Namisi threatened, assaulted in Kenya

Kenyan authorities should credibly investigate and swiftly bring to justice those responsible for attacking and threatening Emmanuel Namisi, a broadcast journalist for the Royal Media group, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Namisi told CPJ that men he identified as bodyguards of Kenneth Lusaka, governor of the western Kenyan county of Bungoma, threatened him and assaulted him at a Bungoma club on the night of June 5, 2017. He said the men were angry at a story he had written alleging they played a role in the death of a woman at…Read more