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 May.
Independent Tanzanian journalist still 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.
Reuters reporters imprisoned under the Official Secrets Act
After their investigation into a security-force massacre of Rohingya men and boys in Myanmar's western Rakhine state, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were convicted under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years each in prison, even though a police officer testified that they had been entrapped. The Myanmar Supreme Court recently upheld their convictions.
Nicaraguan journalists detained amid media crackdown
In December, Nicaraguan police raided TV station 100% Noticias and arrested station director Miguel Mora and news director Lucía Pineda. Both journalists are being held on charges of “inciting hate and violence” and have been denied consistent access to legal services.
Murdered for reporting on corruption and politics
Herika Martinez / AFP / Getty Images
In March 2017, Miroslava Breach Velducea, a correspondent for Mexican outlet La Jornada, was murdered in the state of Chihuahua in connection with her reporting on links between politicians and organized crime. Prior to her death, she had received threats on at least three occasions for her reporting. One suspect is in custody, and the next hearing is expected to take place in the coming months.
Veteran investigative reporter endured harassment and attacks
Claudia Duque has endured kidnapping, illegal surveillance, psychological torture, and exile as a result of her work. Colombian courts convicted three high-ranking officers of the Colombian security services for torturing Duque and her daughter in 2003 and 2004. As of May 2019, all of the defendants in the case are free.
Released from prison but still behind bars
Facebook Freedom for Shawkan; Nariman el-Mofty
Photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid (Shawkan) and Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdelfattah were released this year after spending over five years behind bars. Both, however, must report to a police station each evening, and it is up to the police whether they can leave. So far, both have spent every night of their “freedom” behind bars.
Imprisoned on anti-state charges for covering conflict
Saqib Majeed / Newscom
Aasif Sultan, a reporter with Kashmir Narrator, was accused of promoting militant activities in August 2018, charges that his family and editor have disputed. Sultan, who remains behind bars, has been repeatedly interrogated by police and asked to reveal sources and has experienced health issues. No charges have yet been filed.
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.
An arrest on false-news and cybercrime charges
In November 2018, Cameroonian journalist Mimi Mefo was arrested on false-news and cybercrime charges in connection with her reporting on unrest in the conflict-hit Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon. She was released after four days, but she continues to speak out against harassment of journalists throughout Cameroon and the impact of the conflict.
Newspaper editor in South Sudan lives under constant threat
Ryan Lenora Brown / Christian Science Monitor
As editor of the Juba Monitor in South Sudan, Anna Nimiriano fights to keep her colleagues out of jail for their reporting. In the past the government has ordered her to shut down the paper. She perseveres despite arrest threats and constant censorship of her and her colleagues.
This post was written in cooperation with the One Free Press Coalition.