Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled that Hamid Mir, the well-known host of one of Pakistan’s most prestigious TV programmes, has been taken off the air by his TV channel after saying at a protest that those responsible for recent physical attacks on journalists should be identified. An autocratic climate is steadily taking hold in Pakistan, RSF said. The host of Capital Talk, a current affairs programme broadcast every weeknight on Geo News, Hamid Mir was suspended summarily, without any form of proceedings. He told RSF that his channel’s management notified him that he would…Read more

Ugandan police summon Daily Monitor employees in libel and false news investigation

Ugandan police should immediately drop their criminal investigation into the Daily Monitor newspaper and guarantee that the media can cover security forces’ alleged misconduct without retaliation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On May 31, the police Criminal Investigations Department summoned Tony Glencross, the managing director of the Daily Monitor’s parent company, Nation Media Group-Uganda, and Tabu Butagira, the group’s managing editor, to record statements as part of a police investigation into allegations of criminal libel, incitement to violence, and false news publication, according to reports by the newspaper and the BBC. The investigation focuses on a May 31 report by…Read more

Botswana police charge Moeladilotlhoko News Boiler staff with criminal trespass

Botswana authorities should immediately drop the criminal charges against two journalists and three media workers at the Moeladilotlhoko News Boiler and cease harassing members of the press and seizing their devices, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The five are expected in court this month in connection to a case dating from January. On January 28, police in Phitshane outside Botswana’s capital Gaborone arrested Tshepo Sethibe and Michelle Teise, two reporters with Moeladilotlhoko, a privately-owned news outlet that publishes on Facebook, and four media workers with the company — media security specialist Gosego Phofusetso,…Read more

Journalist Asad Ali Toor summoned for alleged defamation of Pakistan government

Pakistan should authorities stop harassing journalist Asad Ali Toor and let him work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Yesterday, the Cyber Crime Reporting Center of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency in Rawalpindi issued a summons addressed to Toor’s home, ordering him to appear for questioning on June 4, according to the Dawn newspaper and a copy of the summons, which CPJ reviewed. Authorities seek to question Toor in response to a complaint that he defamed an “institution of Government of Pakistan” on “social media,” according to the summons, which does not specify the…Read more

Nigerian BBC host Peter Nkanga receives death threats

Nigerian authorities should conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the death threats received by journalist Peter Nkanga and ensure his safety, the Committee to Protect Journalist said today. Since May 20, dozens of anonymous people have called and sent text messages to Nkanga, an Abuja-based reporter with the BBC, angered over a recent documentary aired by the broadcaster, according to the journalist, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview and shared copies of the threats. Nkanga told CPJ that he had gone into hiding for fear for his safety. “Nigerian authorities…Read more

Unidentified men attack, bind, and gag Pakistani journalist Asad Ali Toor at his home in Islamabad

Pakistan authorities must launch a credible investigation into the assault of journalist Asad Ali Toor and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists have said. Yesterday evening, three unidentified men beat, bound, and gagged Toor inside his apartment in Islamabad, according to news reports and the journalist, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview. CCTV footage following the attack shows Toor struggling to walk in his apartment building’s lobby as passersby helped remove the bindings. The journalist told CPJ that his arms were bloodied and bruised in the attack, and he required…Read more

Bangladeshi authorities arrest journalist Rozina Islam under Official Secrets Act

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Bangladeshi authorities to immediately release journalist Rozina Islam, withdraw the investigation into her, and to stop arresting journalists under the Official Secrets Act. Islam, a senior correspondent for the daily newspaper Prothom Alo, was arrested today after the Health Ministry filed a complaint against her under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, according to news reports. She was accused of taking pictures of official documents under sections 3 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act, and under sections 379 and 411 of the penal code, and could face up to 14 years…Read more

Malaysian cartoonist Zunar investigated over criticism of state official

Malaysian authorities must cease their legal harassment of cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, known as Zunar, and drop any pending charges against him, say the Committee to Protect Journalists. On May 7, police in the northern state of Kedah summoned Zunar, who publishes his political cartoons on the Malaysiakini news website, and questioned him about a cartoon that lampooned Kedah Chief Minister Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, according to news reports and the cartoonist, who spoke with CPJ in a video interview. Authorities also confiscated his phone during the interrogation and did not return it, Zunar said. Zunar told CPJ that police…Read more

CHOGM 2021 to be postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic

His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, have announced the postponement of CHOGM 2021 as a result of the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.   Having reviewed all available evidence and risk assessments including with the World Health Organization (WHO) and their risk assessment tool, and after close consultation between the Commonwealth Secretariat and Member States, the decision has been made to postpone the CHOGM in Kigali for a second time. Speaking on the postponement, President Kagame said: “The decision to postpone CHOGM…Read more

Zambian columnist Sishuwa Sishuwa could face sedition charge for opinion piece on election

Zambian authorities should drop an investigation into newspaper columnist and academic Sishuwa Sishuwa, who is accused of sedition, and should reaffirm the right to media freedom ahead of the August 12 general elections, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Sishuwa, a lecturer at the University of Zambia, wrote an opinion article published on March 19 in the independent local newspaper News Diggers and republished three days later in South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper on the potential for unrest in Zambia after the elections, titled, “Zambia may burn after the August election.” Sishuwa often contributes political commentary to Zambian and…Read more