Sri Lankan authorities seize reporter Dharisha Bastians’ laptop in home raid

Sri Lankan authorities should immediately return journalist Dharisha Bastians’ computer and allow her to report without fear of official harassment, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 9, officials from the Criminal Investigation Department raided Bastians’ home in Colombo, the capital, and seized her laptop in connection to an investigation over the alleged abduction of a Swiss embassy staffer in the city in November, she wrote in a statementExternal link shared on Twitter. Bastians, a contributor to the New York Times and former editor of the state-run Sunday Observer newspaper, wrote that the officers had a warrant…Read more

UK Society of Editors urges the government to turn words into action to support press freedom

The UK Society of Editors (SoE) has welcomed the latest assurances from the Government it supports press freedom in the UK and globally, but calls on it to go further to turn words into action. The SoE was commenting after a debate in the House of Lords yesterday (June 8, 2020) following a question from Lord Black of Brentwood into what action the government is taking to promote press freedom and the safety of journalists globally. Lord Black (pictured), deputy chairman of the Telegraph Media Group, described the Media Freedom Coalition, which the UK Government…Read more

Journalist missing in Bangladesh following defamation suit

Bangladesh authorities should spare no effort to locate missing journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol, and should not allow a criminal defamation case to proceed against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Yesterday, the journalist’s family filed a report with the Chawkbazar Police Station in Dhaka, the capital, stating that Kajol, a photographer and editor of the biweekly Pakkhakal magazine, had not been since March 10, according to news reports. Kajol disappeared one day after he and 31 others were named in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Saifuzzaman Shikhor, a member of parliament from the ruling…Read more

Commonwealth Day 2020

Message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth  Read the Commonwealth Day Message by Her Majesty The Queen Commonwealth Day 2020 was celebrated on 09 March with events across 5 continents including flag parades, church services, poetry mornings, dance performances and much more. This year’s event was centred around the theme 'Delivering a Common Future', highlighting how the 54 member countries in the Commonwealth family are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming’ to help achieve some of its biggest goals like protecting natural resources and boosting trade. Flag-raising ceremonies Many people mark Commonwealth Day with a flag raising ceremony,…Read more

Pakistan government secretly passes strict social media regulations

The Pakistan government should immediately roll back a set of social media regulatory measures that were passed in secret, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On January 28, the federal cabinet approved the “Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules, 2020,” a set of regulations on social media content, without public consultation; the measures were enacted in secret and were reported yesterday by The News International, an English-language daily. A copy of the regulations, which was leaked online, shows that the rules empower the government to fine or ban social media platforms over their users’…Read more

Nigerian security forces fire on journalists, protesters

Nigerian authorities should investigate attacks by security forces on journalists at a recent protest in Abuja, and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On November 12, security forces fired live rounds to disperse a group of demonstrators at the Department of State Services (DSS) headquarters in Abuja, the capital, and shot at journalists and beat at least one reporter, according to journalists who spoke with CPJ, news reports, and a video of the protest uploaded to YouTube by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting. Demonstrators gathered at the DSS building…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

Art Exhibition in Mumbai

Henrietta Nicholson, the widow of long-standing CPU Trustee and Executive Committee member Brian Nicholson, is holding an exhibition of her paintings in commemoration of her late husband's work within the Commonwealth newspaper industry, and her late father's involvement with Tata Airlines. The private view will be held in the Art Gallery at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel Mumbai on Monday October 7th 2019 at 6.30. Henrietta is an accomplished artist and examples of her work can be found by clicking here.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

Alarming resurgence in Sri Lankan police attacks on Tamil journalists

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Sri Lankan authorities to punish those responsible for recent acts of violence and harassment of journalists and to ensure that the police stop harassing and intimidating reporters covering the problems that the Tamil minority still endure ten years after the end of the civil war. The 27 May violence against Kanapathipillai Kumanan, a journalist working for the Tamil daily Virakesari, was the third reported attack on a journalist of Tamil origin since the start of the year. Kumanan was working on a story about a Hindu temple in the…Read more