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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 June.

Posted on June 3, 2019, at 2:32 p.m. ET

Independent Tanzanian journalist remains missing

Mwananchi Publications Limited

Azory Gwanda, a freelance journalist working in rural Tanzania, has been missing since Nov. 21, 2017. Before his disappearance, Gwanda had been investigating mysterious killings in his community. The Tanzanian government has so far failed to launch a credible investigation into his case.

Justice denied for murdered Saudi journalist

Yasin Akgul / AFP / Getty Images

Months after Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, and despite findings from the CIA that point to the Saudi crown prince’s involvement, there has been no independent UN criminal investigation into the death of the Washington Post columnist. Calls for the White House to release intelligence reports have gone unheeded, along with a deadline to reply to Congress as required under the US Global Magnitsky Act.

Imprisoned for covering conflict

Saqib Majeed / Newscom

Aasif Sultan, a reporter for Kashmir Narrator, was accused of promoting militant activities in August 2018, charges that his family and editor have disputed. Sultan, who has health issues, has been repeatedly interrogated by police, demanding that he reveal his sources.

Officials who tortured an investigative reporter remain free, and harassment continues

Stan Honda

Lack of security and safety in Colombia for journalists has forced some to flee the country; two journalists fled after being harassed online by officials. Others, like local journalist Claudia Duque, have endured kidnapping, illegal surveillance, and psychological torture for decades. Courts convicted three high-ranking security service officers for torturing Duque and put another eight on trial. As of June 2019, none have served a day in prison.

Nicaraguan journalists detained amid media crackdown

Confidencial

In December 2018, Nicaraguan police raided TV station 100% Noticias and arrested station director Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda, its news director. Both journalists have been held for over five months on charges of “inciting hate and violence.” While behind bars, both have experienced health issues and been denied access to their lawyers.

Blogger denied asylum, now imprisoned

AFP / Getty Images

Truong Duy Nhat, a blogger with the US Congress–funded Radio Free Asia (RFA), went missing in January in Bangkok, where he had applied for refugee status. The Vietnamese blogger is currently being held without charge in a detention center in Hanoi, Vietnam. Nhat was previously sentenced to two years in prison in 2013 in connection to his critical reporting on the government.

Extortion threats in retaliation for reporting

Wikimedia Commons / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The pro-government Azerbaijani news channel Real TV harassed and attempted to extort Sevinc Osmanqizi in retaliation for her political reporting. Osmanqizi, who lives in exile in the US, hosts a TV program covering Azerbaijani politics on YouTube. Real TV published audio from one of the journalist’s private phone conversations and, in a separate segment, an anchor threatened to release intimate photos of Osmanqizi unless she ceased broadcasting.

Imprisoned after reporting on corruption

Cheikh Jiddou / Via facebook.com

Bloggers Abderrahmane Weddady and Cheikh Ould Jiddou have been behind bars since March after being accused of spreading false news. Both report on corruption in Mauritania. Authorities questioned the bloggers and confiscated their passports and identification cards. Both are being detained in Dar Naim Prison.

Nearly 20 years behind bars for doing journalism

Seyoum Family

Seyoum Tsehaye (left) is one of several Eritrean journalists arrested after the government summarily banned the privately owned press in 2001, in response to criticism of President Isaias Afwerki. Eritrean authorities have never accounted for the whereabouts, health, or legal status of Seyoum and the others.

No arrests after car bomb attack

CNN / Via cnn.gr

A makeshift explosive device was detonated under the car of Mina Karamitrou, a police reporter for CNN’s Greek edition, in May 2019. No one was injured in the explosion, which went off outside the journalist’s home. Karamitrou said she believes the attack was related to her coverage of a man who is serving multiple life sentences for murders. As of late May, no arrests had been made.

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

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