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

Cameroon governor bans The Post over military coup headline

Cameroonian authorities should immediately lift an indefinite ban against The Post newspaper in the Southwest Region and stop any retaliatory action against the privately owned media outlet and its staff, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday. On Tuesday, September 12, Southwest regional governor Bernard Okalia Bilai banned The Post until further notice, accusing the outlet of “flagrant violation of professional norms,” according to a copy of the order reviewed by CPJ and media reports. The ban followed the publication of a social media post showing a copy of the newspaper’s Monday front page with a headline, “66%…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

India blocks The Kashmir Walla website and social media accounts

Authorities in India must immediately unblock the website and social media accounts of the independent Kashmiri news outlet The Kashmir Walla, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday. On Saturday, August 19, The Kashmir Walla became inaccessible in India following an order by India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block its website under the IT Act without any prior notice, according to a statement by The Kashmir Walla, reviewed by CPJ, and news reports. The Kashmir Walla, which is known for its human rights reporting in the disputed territory of Indian-administered Jammu and…Read more

Pakistani journalists abroad face terrorism investigations at home

Pakistan authorities must cease harassing foreign-based journalists Wajahat Saeed Khan, Shaheen Sehbai, Sabir Shakir, and Moeed Pirzada and allow them to work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. On Saturday, June 10, police in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad opened a criminal and terrorism investigation into freelance U.S.-based journalists Khan and Sehbai, along with two former army officers, for allegedly “inciting people to attack military installations, spread terrorism, and create chaos” on May 9 after the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to news reports and the two journalists, who spoke with CPJ…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

2023 World Press Freedom Index – journalism threatened by fake content industry

The 21st edition of the World Press Freedom Index, compiled annually by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), sheds light on major and often radical changes linked to political, social and technological upheavals. According to the 2023 World Press Freedom Index – which evaluates the environment for journalism in 180 countries and territories and is published on World Press Freedom Day (3 May) – the situation is “very serious” in 31 countries, “difficult” in 42, “problematic” in 55, and “good” or “satisfactory” in 52 countries. In other words, the environment for journalism is “bad” in seven out of ten…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

Maldives parliament considers amendment restricting journalists’ coverage of elections

Maldives legislators should reject or revise a recently proposed legislative amendment restricting journalists’ ability to cover elections, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday. On Monday, March 13, the Maldives parliament opened debate regarding an amendment to the country’s General Elections Act proposed in mid-February by a lawmaker with the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party, which would allow only journalists working for media outlets registered with the government and approved by the Election Commission to report from voting and vote-counting sites on election days, according to multiple news reports and Ahmed Naif, secretary-general of the Maldives Journalists Association,…Read more

Pakistan bans broadcasting of ex-PM Imran Khan’s speeches, suspends ARY News channel

Pakistan authorities must immediately rescind the ban on satellite television channels airing live and recorded speeches by former Prime Minister Imran Khan and restore the license of the privately owned television broadcaster ARY News, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday. On the evening of Sunday, March 5, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, the country’s broadcast regulator, issued the ban on airing Khan’s speeches, which went into effect on Monday, and warned that violators will have their licenses canceled, according to news reports. Hours after the order was announced on Sunday, PEMRA suspended ARY…Read more