Indian journalist Dhaval Patel arrested, charged with sedition

Following his arrest, authorities in Gujarat must immediately release journalist Dhaval Patel and drop all charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. On May 11, police in Ahmedabad, in western Gujarat state, detained Patel and yesterday charged him with sedition and spreading false news amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to his lawyer Anand Yagnik, who spoke to CPJ over the phone, and news reports. The charges stem from a news article Patel, editor of the Face of Nation news website, published on May 7 alleging that Gujarat’s chief minister may be replaced after displeasure of his handling…Read more

RSF Publish 2020 World Press Freedom Index

The 2020 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), shows that the coming decade will be decisive for the future of journalism, with the Covid-19 pandemic highlighting and amplifying the many crises that threaten the right to freely reported, independent, diverse and reliable information. This 2020 edition of the Index, which evaluates the situation for journalists each year in 180 countries and territories, suggests that the next ten years will be pivotal for press freedom because of converging crises affecting the future of journalism: a geopolitical crisis (due to the aggressiveness…Read more

Cameroonian journalist Martinez Zogo jailed since January on defamation charges

Authorities in Cameroon should immediately release journalist Martinez Zogo, drop all charges against him, and reform the country’s penal code to decriminalize defamation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On January 17, judicial police officers in Yaoundé, the capital, arrested Zogo at the offices of Radio Amplitude FM, a privately owned broadcaster where he works as editor-in-chief, Zogo’s lawyer, Joseph Kenmoe, told CPJ in a phone interview. Authorities charged him with criminal defamation following a complaint filed by Sylvie Biye Essono, the ex-wife of a government official, which alleged that Zogo had…Read more

Pakistani journalist sentenced to five years in prison under anti-terrorism laws

Pakistani authorities should immediately release and drop all legal proceedings against journalist Nasrullah Chaudhry, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Chaudhry was convicted under anti-terrorism laws and sentenced to five years in prison on December 21 over the alleged possession of banned literature, according to news reports. “The anti-terrorism charges against Nasrullah Chaudhry were always implausible and his conviction is an absurd miscarriage of justice,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Chaudhry should be freed at once, and no journalist should go to prison over possession of magazines or pamphlets.” Chaudhry, a district…Read more

Nigerian journalists charged with criminal defamation, breach of peace

Authorities should drop all charges against journalists Joe Ogbodu and Prince Amour Udemude, and reform Nigeria’s penal code to ensure that journalism is not criminalized, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On October 24, a magistrate court in Asaba, the capital of Nigeria’s southern Delta State, arraigned Ogbodu, an editor with the privately owned news website Big Pen Nigeria, and Udemude, a reporter with the privately owned National Mirror newspaper, on four counts of criminal defamation and one count of disturbing the peace, according to the journalists and a report by Big Pen Nigeria. Defamation and disturbing the…Read more

CPJ publishes 2019 Global Impunity Index

On 29 October, the Committee to Protect Journalists published an important document called "Getting Away With Murder". The 2019 Global Impunity Index highlights the growing problem of countries where journalists are slain but their killers go free. This important report can be accessed here and should be read by all journalists and those that believe in freedom of the media.Read more

Singapore’s premier hounds website editor again

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to abandon his latest absurd complaint against Terry Xu, the editor of the independent news website The Online Citizen (TOC), and to stop deploying his army of lawyers against anyone who publishes news reports he doesn’t like. In what resembles David going into battle against Goliath, Terry Xufiled a “memorandum of appearance” with Singapore’s high court today in response to the summons issued against him five days ago on Lee’s behalf over a 15 August article. Xu’s filing means that he intends to defend himself…Read more

CPJ concerned about Pakistan media court initiative

Pakistan’s federal cabinet has approved an initiative to establish specialized courts aimed at resolving media-related issues, the government announced yesterday, according to news reports. The proposal drew swift condemnation on social media from human rights and press freedom organizations. “The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned that Pakistani authorities are moving forward with this vague plan to establish specialized media courts, despite an outcry from local journalists,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Instead, Pakistan needs to strengthen the nation’s democracy by freeing newspapers and broadcasters from the intense official pressures they already face.” The courts would…Read more

TV news channels blocked in Pakistan after airing opposition speeches

Pakistan authorities should immediately unblock broadcasts of privately owned news channels Capital TV, 24 News HD, and Abtak News 247, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Yesterday, Capital TV posted a notice on Twitter stating that the three channels' transmissions had been blocked by the country's broadcast regulator, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority. Later that day, the Pakistan Broadcasters Association, a private industry association, issued a statement saying that the channels had been taken off air by the regulator without being given a reason or a hearing. The move came after the channels aired speeches…Read more