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

Two Ghanaian journalists arrested and interrogated, one allegedly tortured in custody

Ghana's Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice should immediately launch an independent investigation into the arrests of Modern Ghana editor Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri and reporter Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum and security forces' alleged torture of Abugri, and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 27, in Accra, the capital, Ministry of National Security officers arrested Abugri and Britwum at the offices of their employer, the privately owned news website Modern Ghana, interrogated them at Ministry of National Security offices, and confiscated their laptops and phones, according to Britwum, who…Read more

UK Home Secretary gives green light to extradite Julian Assange to the US

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is deeply concerned by UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to sign a request by the US to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, giving the court the green light to consider the request. RSF reiterates its call on all relevant authorities to prioritise the protection of the role of journalism, including journalistic sources, in their treatment of Assange. On 13 June, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed a request by the United States to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been indicted in the US on 18 charges related to…Read more

Ugandan editor charged with criminal libel and ‘offensive communication’

Authorities in Uganda should end the criminal proceedings against Pidson Kareire, managing editor of privately owned news website The Drone Media, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 12, police in the capital, Kampala, arrested Kareire on charges, filed on April 30, of four counts of criminal libel and four counts of "offensive communication," according to the journalist's lawyer, Daniel Walyemera, who spoke to CPJ, and a charge sheet seen by CPJ. The charges stem from The Drone Media's reporting on a local recruitment firm, Middle East Consultants Limited, according to Walyemera and…Read more