Photojournalist Christoff Griffith killed at crime scene in Barbados

Authorities in Barbados must thoroughly investigate the killing of photojournalist Christoff Griffith and ensure those responsible are held to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Griffith is the first journalist CPJ has recorded as killed in relation to his work in Barbados. On June 22, in St. Michael, southwest Barbados, an unidentified man attacked and killed Griffith, a photojournalist working with The Nation newspaper, according to news reports and Carol Martindale, executive director of The Nation, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview. Griffith had traveled to the area to cover a crime scene; he…Read more

Tanzanian government revokes license of Tanzania Daima newspaper

Tanzanian flag with fabric structure Tanzanian authorities should immediately restore Tanzania Daima’s license and allow all newspapers to publish freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. In a June 23 statement, Tanzania’s Information Services Department, which registers print media, announced it would revoke Tanzania Daima’s distribution and publication license as of June 24, according to news reports and a copy of the statement, which CPJ reviewed. The statement accused the publication of breaching the law and professional ethics, and banned its distribution domestically and abroad. The statement did not cite specific content from the newspaper that…Read more

Sierra Leone journalist Sylvia Olayinka Blyden detained, charged over social media posts

Authorities in Sierra Leone should release journalist Sylvia Olayinka Blyden immediately and drop the charges against her, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On May 1, police arrested Blyden, publisher of the Awareness Times newspaper, at her home in Freetown for alleged “cyber-related” offenses, according to Messeh Leone, a legal activist familiar with the case, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app and phone, and a June 4 police statement, which CPJ reviewed. On May 22, authorities charged Blyden with sedition, defamation, and “perversion of justice” over her social media posts, according to Leone…Read more

Indian journalist shot and killed after reporting on land dispute; 3 suspects arrested

Police in India’s Uttar Pradesh state must thoroughly and transparently investigate the killing of journalist Shubham Mani Tripathi, and ensure that all responsible are brought to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 19, two assailants shot and killed Tripathi, a reporter with the local Hindi daily Kampu Mail, in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district, according to news reports and his brother Rishabh Mani Tripathi, who spoke to CPJ over the phone. According to a complaint Rishabh filed to police on the night of June 19, which CPJ reviewed, Tripathi was returning home on a motorcycle…Read more

Bangladeshi authorities investigate 5 journalists, detain 2 under Digital Security Act for COVID-19 reporting

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on authorities in Bangladesh to immediately and unconditionally release political cartoonist Kabir Kishore and writer and commentator Mushtaq Ahmed and to stop using the Digital Security Act to silence critical reporting on the coronavirus pandemic. On May 6, Kishore, Ahmed, and three other journalists were among 11 people investigated under the Digital Security Act for “spreading rumors and carrying out anti-government activities,” according to news reports Ahmed, a writer and political commentator who recently published an article criticizing the shortage of personal protective equipment for doctors, has been…Read more

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

Nigerian journalist held under cybercrime act for COVID-19 coverage

Nigerian authorities should immediately release journalist Saint Meinpamo Onitsha, drop all charges against him, and reform the country’s cybercrime act to ensure it is not used to prosecute the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 4, officers with Nigeria’s Department of State Services detained Onitsha, founder of the privately owned Naija Live TVnews website, in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa state, after he responded to a summons for questioning, his lawyers told CPJ by phone and messaging app. Onitsha told CPJ on June 3 that he received the summons, and…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

Bangladeshi journalist held in Jordan without lawyer since April

Jordanian authorities should immediately release Bangladeshi journalist Selim Akash and drop any charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On April 14, three men in plainclothes arrested Akash, a reporter for the Bangladeshi satellite broadcaster BanglaTV and news website Jago News, in front of his house in Amman, according to a report by Jago News and a member of the journalist’s family who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal. The family member said the men did not identify themselves, did not state a reason for the arrest, and did…Read more

Nigerian journalist Kufre Carter detained for 1 month, charged with defamation and conspiracy

Nigerian authorities should drop all charges against journalist Kufre Carter and ensure that the press is not harassed by the country’s security forces, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On April 27, in the southern city of Uyo, officers with Nigeria’s Department of State Services arrested Carter, a presenter with the privately owned XL 106.9 FM radio station, when he responded to a summons issued the day before, according to Inibehe Effiong, Carter’s lawyer, who spoke to CPJ by phone and messaging app, and reports by the privately owned First Reports and Premium Times news websites.…Read more