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These Journalists Are Facing Huge Threats And Injustice For Pursuing The Truth

Press freedoms are under assault around the world. These are the most urgent cases in August.

Posted on August 1, 2019, at 4:25 p.m. ET

Stonewalling continues after new UN report implicates Saudi prince for journalist’s murder

Yasin Akgul / AFP / Getty Images

Months after his brazen killing, and despite findings from the United Nations and the CIA that point to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's involvement, there has been no independent criminal investigation. Calls for the White House to release intelligence reports related to the killing have gone unheeded, along with a deadline to reply to Congress as required under the US Global Magnitsky Act.

Tanzanian official claims missing journalist is dead — then backtracks

Mwananchi Publications Limited

Azory Gwanda, a freelance journalist investigating mysterious killings in rural Tanzania, has been missing since Nov. 21, 2017, and the government has failed to conduct an investigation or disclose what it knows. On July 10, Tanzanian Foreign Minister Palamagamba Kabudi said in an interview that Gwanda had “disappeared and died,” but backtracked amid requests for clarification.

Mexican newspaper editor targeted with death threats for criticizing new president

Agencia EL UNIVERSAL/Alejandro Acosta/JMA (GDA via AP Images)

Mexican media organizations and journalists have recently reported a sharp increase in threats and online harassment over critical reporting of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration. Juan Pardinas, the editor-in-chief of Mexican newspaper Reforma, received a barrage of online harassment and threats after López Obrador criticized the newspaper in April. López Obrador acknowledged the threats against Pardinas and said that his government had offered protective measures to the journalist.

Journalist in maximum security prison blocked from seeing family

facebook.com

Cameroon Web reporter Paul Chouta was arrested in May, denied bail, and charged with defamation and spreading false news. Chouta’s editor said he suspects the case was in retaliation for critical reporting. His case has been delayed until Aug. 13, and he remains in a maximum security prison.

Kyrgyz court upholds life sentence for journalist who documented human rights abuses

Tabyldy Kadyrbekov / Sputnik via AP

Award-winning journalist Azimjon Askarov, who is an ethnic Uzbek, has spent nine years in prison on trumped-up charges for his reporting on human rights violations. Despite persistent international condemnation and calls for his release, a Kyrgyz court that had reviewed his case in light of new legislation ruled to uphold his life sentence on July 30.

Turkish journalist faces 30 years in solitary confinement

Afp / AFP / Getty Images

Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak, a commentator for opposition newspaper Özgür Düşünce and Can Erzincan TV, was arrested in 2016 and sentenced in February 2018 to life without parole for trying to overturn the constitution through her journalism. In a separate trial in January, she was sentenced to an additional five years for revealing state secrets. In Turkey, which has been the top jailer of journalists three years in a row, life sentences without parole equate to 30 years in solitary confinement with limited visits.

Imprisoned journalist denied health care after covering May Day demonstrations

Facebook: marzie.amiri

Iranian authorities arrested Marzieh Amiri, an economics reporter at Tehran-based newspaper Shargh Daily, as she covered May Day demonstrations, and her family has had limited contact with her since. Authorities have accused Amiri of committing crimes against national security without giving further details.

Journalist rearrested on terrorism and cybercrime charges

Jonathan Rozen

Jones Abiri, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Weekly Source, is behind bars on charges under Nigeria’s cybercrimes act, anti-sabotage act, and terrorism prevention act for crimes allegedly carried out in 2016. The charges are the same ones that a court threw out after he was held without access to his family or a lawyer from 2016 to 2018.

Journalist imprisoned one year without due process for covering conflict

Free Aasif Sultan / Facebook

Aasif Sultan, a reporter for Kashmir Narrator, will have been imprisoned one year on Aug. 27 after being arrested and only months later getting charged with “complicity” in “harboring known terrorists.” He has been repeatedly interrogated and asked to reveal his sources by police. Sultan continues to be denied due process, with ongoing delays in his hearings.

Blogger who disappeared in Thailand imprisoned in Vietnam

Afp / AFP / Getty Images

Truong Duy Nhat, a Vietnamese reporter with Radio Free Asia, went missing in January in Bangkok, where he had applied for refugee status. In March, his daughter learned he was jailed without charge in a Hanoi detention center. Nhat was previously sentenced to two years in prison in 2013 in connection to his critical reporting on the government.

This post was written in cooperation with the One Free Press Coalition.

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