Pakistan Press Foundation launches mechanism to report election-related violence

The Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) today launched a reporting and monitoring mechanism for election related violence directed against media personnel and institutions. The reporting mechanism will facilitate journalists and other media personnel to report violence directed against them in the month leading up to the General Elections on July 25, to elect members of the national and provincial assemblies. The monitoring system is being established to ensure that election related attacks against media personnel and institutions do not go unnoticed, as well as to monitor the response of the state machinery to such…Read more

President Museveni of Uganda hurls insults at the media

This statement was originally published on cpj.org on 18 June 2018. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni should stop making statements that denigrate and threaten the press, and ensure that his government does not take actions that conflate journalism with terrorism or national security threats, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 11, while attending the funeral of ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) legislator Ibrahim Abiriga, Museveni and NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba publicly called for the need to censor radio and social media, according to a report by NTV Uganda. Abiriga…Read more

Pakistani authorities disrupt distribution of Dawn newspaper

Pakistani authorities should immediately halt any restrictions on the distribution of Dawn newspaper in Pakistan, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Distribution of the newspaper has been disrupted in many parts of the country in recent weeks, Dawn editor Zaffar Abbas told CPJ. Pakistan Today reported May 17 that distributors in Balochistan province were told not to distribute the newspaper because it ran an interview with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier in May in which he made a controversial statement. According to a source who asked to remain anonymous for fear of…Read more

Ugandan journalist seized in Kampala following investigative report

Ugandan authorities must make every effort to secure the safe release of Charles Etukuri, an investigative journalist for the state-owned New Visionnewspaper, the Committee to Protect Journalists said . Five unidentified men dressed in military camouflage seized Etukuri outside the newspaper's office in Kampala on 13 February, days after he published an investigation into the murder of a foreign national in Uganda, the paper's editor John Kakande and the Independent Media Council of Uganda executive secretary, Haruna Kanaabi, told CPJ. Several eyewitnesses, including two New Vision employees, reported that the men were waiting…Read more

India: Police file complaint against journalist and newspaper following data breach exposé

Indian authorities on January 5, 2018 filed a criminal complaint against the English-language daily The Tribune and its reporter Rachna Khaira, a day after the paper published Khaira's report exposing a possible vulnerability in the country's vast national identity system, according to news reports. For the article, The Tribune said it paid hackers 500 Indian Rupees (US$8) to buy access to the Aadhar national identity database, which contains personal information of approximately a billion people, and an additional 300 Indian Rupees (US$4.70) for software that would allow the newspaper to receive an identity…Read more

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