Two Nigerian journalists charged with cybercrime

Nigerian authorities should immediately drop plans to charge Timothy and Daniel Elombah, editor and chief executive respectively, of the independent Elombah news website, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. A federal court in Abuja is scheduled to arraign the brothers on cybercrime and terrorism-related offenses on March 1, their lawyer Obunike Ohaegbu told CPJ. "Timothy and Daniel Elombah are journalists and not terrorists who should be free to continue their journalism without legal harassment or fear of going to jail," said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal from New York. "Authorities should drop…Read more

Ugandan journalist seized in Kampala following investigative report

Ugandan authorities must make every effort to secure the safe release of Charles Etukuri, an investigative journalist for the state-owned New Visionnewspaper, the Committee to Protect Journalists said . Five unidentified men dressed in military camouflage seized Etukuri outside the newspaper's office in Kampala on 13 February, days after he published an investigation into the murder of a foreign national in Uganda, the paper's editor John Kakande and the Independent Media Council of Uganda executive secretary, Haruna Kanaabi, told CPJ. Several eyewitnesses, including two New Vision employees, reported that the men were waiting…Read more

The Gambia rejoins Commonwealth

The Gambia rejoins the Commonwealth family today, almost five years after leaving it. A flag-raising ceremony, at Marlborough House, the London headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, will mark its return. Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, the chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors, Norman Hamilton, members of the Committee, and The Gambian high commissioner, Francis Blain, will attend the ceremony. The decision to begin the process of applying for readmission was made in February 2017 by President Adama Barrow, who came to power following elections in December 2016. Last December, the…Read more

Bangladesh drafts draconian Digital Security Act

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF) express serious concerns over the provisions curtailing freedom of expression in the draft of the Digital Security Act 2018. The IFJ demands that the Bangladesh government revise the draft act in accordance with international standards. Bangladesh's Council of Ministers met on January 29, 2018 and approved the draft of Digital Security Act 2018, designed to combat 'growing cybercrimes that are affecting many public and private organisations'. The draft will be now presented to the Jatiya Sangsad - the unicameral parliament…Read more

Kenya cuts TV transmissions over coverage of Raila Odinga’s “swearing in”

Authorities in Kenya should immediately allow four privately owned television stations to resume broadcasting, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Officials from the broadcast regulator the Communications Authority, accompanied by police, switched off transmitters today while the stations were broadcasting live coverage of an opposition party event in the capital, Nairobi, according to news reports. The order affects four national stations: Citizen TV and Inooro TV, owned by the Royal Media Services, Nation Media Group's NTV, and the Standard Group's KTN News, according to reports and three senior managers from the stations…Read more

Ghana’s ruling political party urged to redress attack on journalists by its security guards

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has petitioned the National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, over the brutal assault by the party's security officers on journalists which occurred at the party's National Headquarters in Accra, Ghana. On December 21, 2017, four journalists who were covering a protest at the premises of the NPP headquarters were brutalized by heavily-built security officials. Despite several appeals by the media and press freedoms organisations to the leadership of the NPP, the party has failed to take any action 33 days after…Read more

Pakistan Interior Ministry shuts down Pashto-language channel Radio Mashaal

Pakistan Press Foundation The government of Pakistan on January 19, 2018 shut down the Pakistan operations of the Pushto-language radio channel of US Government funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The notification issued by the Ministry of Interior said Radio Mashaal was 'found against the interests of Pakistan and in line with [a] hostile intelligence agency's agenda'. The notification issued in the report of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) said that Radio Mashaal was involved in 'portraying Pakistan as a hub of terrorism and a safe haven for different militant groups'; 'propagating Pakistan as a…Read more

India: Police file complaint against journalist and newspaper following data breach exposé

Indian authorities on January 5, 2018 filed a criminal complaint against the English-language daily The Tribune and its reporter Rachna Khaira, a day after the paper published Khaira's report exposing a possible vulnerability in the country's vast national identity system, according to news reports. For the article, The Tribune said it paid hackers 500 Indian Rupees (US$8) to buy access to the Aadhar national identity database, which contains personal information of approximately a billion people, and an additional 300 Indian Rupees (US$4.70) for software that would allow the newspaper to receive an identity…Read more

Peter Preston, Pioneering Editor and Press Freedom Champion Dies Aged 79

This weekend, we learnt with sadness of the death of Peter Preston, former pioneering editor of The Guardian and great champion of press freedom.  Many Commonwealth colleagues will remember Peter from his attendance at CPU Conferences over the years and from his long standing involvement with the International Press Institute and the cause of press freedom His obituary appeared across the media but  The Guardian, inevitably, published the most perceptive. It can be read here.Read more

UK Editors’ Code of Practice revised

The Editors’ Code of Practice, under which the vast majority of Britain’s newspaper, magazine and news website journalists work, has been revised. The revised Code, came into effect on 1 January 2018, and  includes a change that offers increased protection to children accused of crime. In a move that goes further than the law requires, the Code will now state that editors should generally avoid naming children after arrest for a criminal offence but before they appear in court. The Society of Editors, which will look to republish and distribute its pocket-sized version…Read more