Zimbabwean journalist threatened with assault after corruption reporting

 Zimbabwean police must immediately and thoroughly investigate threats made to journalist Simbarashe Sithole in retaliation for his corruption reporting and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday.  On June 4, Zimbabwean Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe sent a text message to Sithole threatening legal action after the freelance journalist published two articles about alleged corruption concerning Kazembe’s constituency, according to Sithole, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app, screenshots of the text message reviewed by CPJ, and a report by news website Bulawayo 24 News. Sithole’s articles were published by Bulawayo…Read more

CHOGM 2022 Communique

On the final day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022 (CHOGM 2022), leaders met today in Kigali, under the theme of 'Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming'. The CHOGM 2022 Communique can be found by clicking here Heads underscored the importance of connecting, innovating, and transforming in order to facilitate a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, achieve the 2030 Agenda, and to respond to conflicts and crises in ways that increase resilience and progress in delivering a common future, underpinned by sustainability, peace and prosperity, to improve the lives…Read more

West African States Togo and Gabon Join the Commonwealth

Gabon and Togo joined the Commonwealth on Saturday, becoming the latest nations with no historic ties to Britain to enter the English-speaking club headed by Queen Elizabeth II.  The 54-nation group of mostly former British colonies accepted Togo and Gabon’s application for membership on the final day of its leadership summit in Rwanda. “We have admitted Gabon and Togo as new members, and we all welcome them to the Commonwealth family,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame said at the closing press conference. The French-speaking West African states are the first new members to join…Read more

Secretary-General Baroness Scotland re-elected for second term

By convention, incumbents are re-elected unopposed if they stand for a second term as secretary general. Her term had already been extended by two years from her initial four-year tenure because the Rwanda summit, originally scheduled to take place in 2020, was postponed until now due to the coronavirus pandemic.Read more

Commonwealth Secretariat denies entry to at least 2 journalists seeking to cover summit in Rwanda; others left in limbo

The Commonwealth Secretariat should ensure that all journalists can freely cover the upcoming summit in Rwanda, and should not allow the press accreditation process to be used as a political tool, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which brings together the leaders of Commonwealth nations for meetings every two years, is scheduled to be held in Rwanda from June 20 to 25. Foreign correspondents’ access to cover the event is controlled by the Commonwealth Secretariat, while the Rwandan government is responsible for the accreditation of domestic media,…Read more

Sierra Leone journalist Sorie Saio Sesay detained for 6 days

Authorities in Sierra Leone should drop their investigation into journalist Sorie Saio Sesay, return his mobile phone, and allow him to work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday. On May 26, police officers in the northwestern town of Kamakwie arrested Sesay, a reporter with the privately owned Okentuhun Radio FM broadcaster’s “Latest Happening” news program, seized his phone, and detained him, according to news reports and the journalist, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview. Authorities transferred Sesay to the police headquarters in Freetown, the capital, and released him on bail on…Read more

Commonwealth Leadership row ahead of leaders’ summit

Jamaica's foreign minister has denied she is a proxy candidate for the UK in her bid to replace Baroness Scotland as secretary general of the Commonwealth.  Kamina Johnson Smith told the BBC she was "offended" both personally and on behalf of Jamaica by the suggestion. She said it "bore no relevance to reality". Commonwealth heads of government meet in Rwanda next week to decide who should lead the 54-nation body that encompasses 2.5 billion people.  The Queen remains titular head of the Commonwealth - and will be represented by Prince Charles in Kigali…Read more

Pakistan police open multiple criminal investigations into four journalists

Pakistan authorities must immediately drop their investigations into journalists Sami Abraham, Arshad Sharif, Sabir Shakir, and Imran Riaz Khan, and refrain from arresting and targeting journalists in retaliation for their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday. Since May 18, police across Pakistan have filed multiple first information reports (FIR), which open an investigation, against Abraham, an anchor with the privately owned broadcaster BOL News and the host of a popular current affairs YouTube channel, Khan, an anchor with the privately owned broadcaster Express News, and Sharif and Shakir, both anchors with the privately owned broadcaster…Read more

Journalists stabbed, assaulted in Bangladesh

Bangladesh authorities must conduct a swift and transparent investigation into two separate attacks on journalist Md Rashid Chowdhury and bystander Jashim Uddin, and on journalists Azim Nihad, Rahul Mahajan, and Lokman Halim, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday. On the evening of Friday, May 13, a group of teenagers stabbed Chowdhury, executive editor of the privately owned daily newspaper Dainik Agrabani Pratidin, in the central city of Narayanganj, according to news reports. The teenagers also stabbed Uddin when he attempted to intervene, according to those sources. Separately, on the morning of May 8, the brother…Read more

Zimbabwe police detain and charge 2 journalists covering attempted arrest of opposition politician

Zimbabwean authorities should immediately drop all charges against journalists Blessed Mhlanga and Chengeto Chidi, as well as Moses Hakata, and let them work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday. On Saturday, May 7, police arrested both journalists after they photographed officers attempting to detain an opposition lawmaker in the town of Chitungwiza, south of Harare, the capital, according to news reports, a statement by the Zimbabwean chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa, a regional press freedom body, and both journalists, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app. The journalists were in the area…Read more