Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust Presents The 2017 Astor Award To The Pakistan Press Foundation

The Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust (CPU) has presented the annual Astor Award to the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF). The Astor Award – first made in 1970 – is one of the oldest and most prestigious media awards in the world and is presented to an individual or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to the Commonwealth newspaper industry and in particular fighting for press and media freedom. Last year’s winner was the Human Rights Network for Journalists in Uganda. Lord Black of Brentwood, Chairman of the CPU Media Trust said: “We…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

Tanzania imposes two-year publishing ban on newspaper

Tanzania should immediately revoke a publishing ban on Mawio, a privately owned weekly newspaper, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Tanzania's Information, Sports and Culture minister Harrison Mwakyembe imposed a 24-month ban on Mawio's print editions and any articles posted online yesterday over articles that mentioned two retired presidents, Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete, in reports on a government investigation into allegations of misconduct in the mining sector, according to a statement released by the director of Information Services, Hassan Abbasi. The statement, viewed by CPJ, accused Mawio of contravening a state…Read more

UK Labour manifesto plans ‘inconsistent with press freedom’

Press regulation plans set out in the Labour Party’s leaked manifesto are inconsistent with the principles of press freedom, the Society of Editors has warned. The manifesto, leaked to a number of news organisations this week, reaffirms the party’s commitment to “implement the recommendations” made in part 1 of the Leveson Inquiry and to begin part 2 of the inquiry into relationships between the police and the media and corporate governance. The recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry led to a cross-party agreement to pass into law Section 40 of the Crime and Courts…Read more

RSF urges politicians to respect press freedom in the UK general election campaign

In the weeks since the announcement that the UK will hold a snap general election on 8 June, the campaign period has been marked by a number of worrying moves to restrict the press. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for all candidates to respect press freedom in their campaigning. On 2 May, local journalists reported that they were shut in a room and prohibited from filming Theresa May’s campaign event at a factory in Cornwall. The county’s biggest news website, Cornwall Live, stated that its reporters were only permitted to ask two questions,…Read more

India’s Supreme Court bans reporting judge’s statements

An Indian Supreme Court order banning news media from quoting a judge who accused other senior judges of corruption is a troubling blow to freedom of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar yesterday sentenced CS Karnan, a judge at the Kolkata High Court, to six months in prison on charges of contempt of court and ruled that "no further statements made by him should be reported hereafter." The court in February 2016 stripped Karnan of his powers…Read more

RSF 2017 Press Freedom Index – ever darker world map

The 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) shows an increase in the number of countries where the media freedom situation is very grave and highlights the scale and variety of the obstacles to media freedom throughout the world. The World Press Freedom map is getting darker. The global indicator calculated by RSF has never been so high, which means that media freedom is under threat now more than ever. Three more countries sank into the darkest depths of the Index in 2017: Burundi (down 4 at 160th), Egypt…Read more

Indian journalist charged under Official Secrets Act

Authorities in India should immediately drop all charges against Poonam Agrawal, a journalist for the English-language news website The Quint, the Committee to Protect journalists said today. Police in Nashik, roughly 170 kilometres (105 miles) northeast of Mumbai, on March 28 opened a criminal case against Agrawal on charges of spying and criminal trespass under the Official Secrets Act, a 1923 anti-espionage law. They also charged her with criminal defamation and abetment of a suicide under the Penal Code, according to the journalist and media reports. If convicted of all charges, she faces…Read more