Commonwealth Day 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Commonwealth Day 2021 will be celebrated on Monday 8 March 2021, with a schedule of virtual events about which more information will soon be made available below. Each year, there is usually a service held at Westminster Abbey to mark Commonwealth Day. However, due to the pandemic, no service will be held this year. Instead Her Majesty The Queen will deliver her annual message in ‘A Celebration for Commonwealth Day’, which will be broadcast on Sunday 7 March on BBC ONE in the UK. HRH The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of…Read more

Safety of journalists remains active concern in Northern Ireland as BBC Panorama team is threatened

A threat against a BBC Panorama documentary team is the latest incident evidencing a worrying climate for the safety of journalists in Northern Ireland, where journalists reporting on paramilitary groups and organised crime are among the most at-risk journalists in the UK. RSF calls again for immediate steps by the UK government to address this alarming trend and ensure the safety of journalists in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK. In early February, a member of the BBC Panorama documentary team investigating alleged criminal underworlds across sport, drug-running and arms-dealing throughout Europe faced…Read more

Indian finance authorities raid Newsclick office, homes of editors and managers

Indian authorities must immediately stop occupying the offices of the news website Newsclick and cease harassing its editors and managers, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Since yesterday morning, officers with the Indian Finance Ministry’s Enforcement Directorate have raided Newsclick’s New Delhi office, as well as the homes of its editor-in-chief, Prabir Purkayastha, one other editor, and two members of its management, according to a senior editor with the outlet, who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, and various news reports. As of today, officers continue…Read more

Nigerian news website Peoples Gazette blocked, threatened with legal action

Nigerian authorities should ensure access to the Peoples Gazette new site is not disrupted and its reporters can work without fear of harassment or intimidation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On January 26, four mobile internet service providers operating in Nigeria – India-based Airtel, South Africa-based MTN, Nigeria-based 9mobile, and Glo, which is owned by local company Globacom – blocked the privately owned Peoples Gazette in Nigeria, according to the outlet’s managing editor, Samuel Ogundipe, who spoke to CPJ via phone.  As of February 5, access continued to be restricted on all four of the providers,…Read more

RSF demands police protection for Indian journalist receiving death threats

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Indian security services to make every effort to protect Neha Dixit, a Delhi-based freelance journalist who – after an attempted break-in at her home on the evening of 25 January – revealed that she has been subjected to an extremely targeted campaign of threats for months. Two days after the attempted break-in, which might otherwise have seemed relatively trivial, Neha Dixit revealed on Twitter that she has been getting threatening phone calls for the past five months from people who are clearly spying on her and know exactly…Read more

Nigerian investigative journalist forced to flee after massacre disclosures

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Nigerian authorities to guarantee the safety of investigative journalist Ibanga Isine, who fears for his life after the deaths of several sources linked to his reports on massacres in the north of the country.  During the night, his telephone lights up by itself. During the day, it is impossible to end some calls without switching the phone off. Isine, who has won several awards, no longer trusts the cell phones which he believes are compromised and bugged because of his investigations into massacres carried out in the south of…Read more

Malawian police beat journalist Henry Kijimwana Mhango for reporting on COVID-19

Malawian authorities should investigate the police attack on journalist Henry Kijimwana Mhango, and ensure that those responsible are held to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On January 22, a group of at least seven police officers in the Old Town area of Lilongwe, the capital, attacked Mhango, a freelance reporter who contributes to the U.K. daily The Telegraph, with pipes and sticks after he asked permission to photograph them enforcing COVID-19 regulations, according to a report by the Malawi Voice news website and Mhango, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview. “Authorities in Malawi…Read more

Ghanaian soldiers detain 3 Joy News employees, delete reporting footage

 Ghanaian authorities must investigate the recent detention of three Joy News staffers, and hold to account the soldiers who interfered with their reporting, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On January 16, a group of about 30 military officers at the Apamprama forest reserve in Ghana’s southern Ashanti region detained reporter Erastus Asare Donkor, camera operator Kofi Asare, and driver Michael Sakyi while the three were on assignment for Joy News, a YouTube-based news outlet owned by the Multimedia Group conglomerate, according to Donkor, who spoke to CPJ by phone, and reports…Read more

Professor Robert Pinker receives Astor Award for outstanding contribution to press freedom

The Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust (CPUMT) has presented the 2020 Astor Award to Professor Robert Pinker for his outstanding contribution to press freedom across the Commonwealth. The Astor Award is one of the most prestigious – and one of the oldest – press freedom awards in the world. First presented over 50 years ago in 1970, previous winners represent a remarkable and distinguished cross-section of individuals who have made an enormous contribution to the media in the Commonwealth, particularly in the field of press freedom.  Since 1970 winners have included figures such…Read more

Arrest warrant issued for Indian journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta in defamation case

Authorities in the Indian state of Gujarat should drop their arrest warrant for journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, and the Adani Group conglomerate should stop trying to intimidate journalists with legal harassment, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The Adani Group initiated criminal and civil defamation suits in 2017 against Guha Thakurta and three of his colleagues at the Economic and Political Weekly, a peer-reviewed academic journal, over an article alleging that the company had used its political influence to obtain favorable government policies, according to news reports, CPJ documentation from 2017, and Anand Yagnik, Guha Thakurta’s…Read more