Authorities detain 2 Ugandan journalists on charges of publishing without license

Ugandan authorities should release journalists Dickson Mubiru and Alirabaki Sengooba, drop all criminal charges against them, and take steps to reform laws that can be used to stifle journalism, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. On June 20 the Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court in the capital, Kampala, charged Mubiru, managing editor of the privately owned news website theGrapeVine, and Sengooba, a reporter with the outlet, with publishing information without a broadcasting license, according to their lawyer, Nasser Kibazo, and a copy of the charge sheet reviewed by CPJ.  Authorities cited a May…Read more

Malawian journalist Macmillan Mhone facing false news, extortion charges

Malawian authorities should drop all legal proceedings against Nation Publications Limited journalist Macmillan Mhone, who is accused of cyber spamming, publishing false news, and extortion, and ensure that journalists can work without the fear of arrest, said the Committee to Protect Journalists on Monday. On April 7, Chester Chikumbutso Doba, a detective in the Malawi Police Service’s Cyber Crime Unit, summoned Mhone to appear for questioning the following day at a police station in the commercial capital of Blantyre, according to a statement by the Malawi chapter of the regional press freedom group Media Institute of…Read more

4 Nigerian journalists charged with cybercrime, defamation over fraud investigation

Authorities in Nigeria should immediately drop all charges against journalists Adisa-Jaji Azeez, Salihu Ayatullahi, Salihu Shola Taofeek, and Abdulrahman Taye Damilola, and allow them to work without fear of arrest, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Friday.  On Tuesday, police officers arrested Azeez, managing director, and Ayatullahi, editor-in-chief, of the privately owned The Informant247 news website, over reports published on November 10  and February 1 about corruption at Kwara State Polytechnic, Ayatullahi and Taofeek, the outlet’s publisher, told CPJ by phone.  Azeez and Ayatullahi were arrested after responding to a request from the police headquarters in Ilorin, capital of western Nigeria’s Kwara…Read more

Two Nigerian journalists charged with cybercrime over corruption reports

Authorities in Nigeria should swiftly drop all charges against journalists Aiyelabegan Babatunde AbdulRazaq and Oluwatoyin Luqman Bolakale and allow them to work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Tuesday. On September 11, police officers detained AbdulRazaq and Bolakale, publishers of the independent news websites Just Event Online and The Satcom Media respectively, over their critical reporting about a local politician, according to the two journalists and their lawyer Taofiq Olateju, all of whom spoke with CPJ. According to the charge sheet, reviewed by CPJ, the September 9 articles contained allegations of abuse of office by Jumoke Monsura…Read more

Indian journalist Debmalya Bagchi faces criminal investigation after reporting on illicit liquor dens

Authorities in the east Indian state of West Bengal should drop their investigation into journalist Debmalya Bagchi and stop harassing him simply for doing his job, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday. On September 6, police arrested Bagchi, a correspondent for the privately owned newspaper Ananda Bazar Patrika (ABP), after a woman from the local Dalit community—a historically marginalized group in India’s caste system—filed a police complaint alleging that the journalist had assaulted her, according to news reports. Bagchi was being investigated on four counts under the penal code—wrongful restraint, voluntarily causing hurt, intention to…Read more

CPJ urges India to review ‘dangerous’ legislation that threatens press freedom

ndian lawmakers must thoroughly review three bills that threaten the independence of the press, and the government should withdraw and significantly amend its new data protection law, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday. “We are gravely concerned by the Indian government’s apparent attempts to pass a series of bills undermining press freedom, ahead of elections in 2024, without adequately consulting journalists or civil society,” said Beh Lih Yi, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, in Kuala Lumpur. “Indian lawmakers must allow ample time for a transparent and exhaustive review of the bills, and the…Read more

CPJ concerned by India Law Commission’s recommendation to expand sedition law

The Indian government must repeal the country’s sedition law and reject recommendations from the Law Commission to retain and expand the legislation, as it would impinge on press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday.  On May 24, the commission, which advises the Indian government on legal reforms, recommended retaining the country’s sedition law, expanding the definition of sedition, and increasing the punishment for violating the law, citing the need for national security. India’s Supreme Court suspended the law in May 2022. The Indian government had promised to “re-consider” and “re-examine” the British colonial-era law after its constitutional validity was challenged in the…Read more

Nigerian journalists Gidado Yushau and Alfred Olufemi convicted of conspiracy, defamation

The conviction of Nigerian journalists Gidado Yushau and Alfred Olufemi on conspiracy and defamation charges sends a chilling message to the Nigerian press and highlights the urgent need for authorities to reform the country’s laws and ensure journalism is not criminalized, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday.  On February 7, a magistrate court in Nigeria’s southern Kwara State convicted Yushau, publisher of the privately owned website News Digest, and freelance reporter Olufemi of criminal defamation and conspiracy, according to a copy of the judgment reviewed by CPJ and phone interviews with the…Read more

Bangladesh shutters newspaper run by political opposition party

Dainik Dinkal, the newspaper of Bangladesh’s main opposition party, was forced to close on Monday after its printing license was canceled in what the outlet’s managing editor, Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas, said were invalid grounds. Dainik Dinkal suspended operations on February 20 after the Bangladesh Press Council, a quasi-judicial, government-funded body headed by a former High Court judge, rejected its appeal against a government shutdown order, Biswas told CPJ. “The shutdown of Dainik Dinkal is a blatant attack on media freedom ahead of Bangladesh’s January 2024 national election,” said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ’s…Read more

Pakistani journalist Imran Riaz Khan arrested for alleged hate speech

Pakistan authorities must immediately and unconditionally release journalist Imran Riaz Khan and cease targeting journalists in retaliation for their commentary on the military, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. In the early hours of Thursday, February 2, officers with Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency arrested Khan, an anchor with the privately owned broadcaster BOL News and host of a YouTube channel with about 3.8 million subscribers, according to news reports. FIA officers arrested Khan at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport, where he was leaving for the United Arab Emirates, in response to an investigation into alleged…Read more