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Egypt: Journalist and Human Rights Activist Released from Military Detention

(Nov. 16, 2015) On November 10, 2015, the Office of the Military Prosecution issued a temporary release for Hossam Bahgat, a journalist and human rights activist, who had been in detention for two days. Before his release, Bahgat had to sign a document stating that he must abide by all legal and security procedures when […]

United Nations: Secretary General Calls for Greater Protection of Journalists’ Rights

(Nov. 5, 2015) On November 2, 2015, to mark the second International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for action against the killing of journalists with impunity, noting that “[m]ore than 700 journalists have been killed in the last decade – one every five days – simply […]

Bangladesh: Four Bloggers Killed Since February

(Aug. 27, 2015) In less than eight months, four bloggers who were considered to be non-religious in their writings have been killed in Bangladesh. They are Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman Babu, Ananta Bijoy Das, and Niloy Chatterjee. In 2013 another blogger, Rajib Haider, was stabbed to death. (Jason Burke & Saad Hammadi, Bangladesh Blogger Killed […]

Azerbaijan: Journalist on Trial

(Aug. 13, 2015) On August 7, 2015, the case of Khadija Ismayilova, a reporter for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in Azerbaijan, was brought to trial, eight months after she was arrested on accusations of tax evasion, abuse of power, and embezzlement. Ismayilova asserts that the charges are politically motivated, following her reporting on government […]

Sri Lanka: Press Council Revival Controversial

(July 16, 2015) On July 2, 2015, Sri Lanka’s government announced that the Press Council, which had given authorities a great deal of control over the media in the past, is being revived. The decision followed by only six months the election of President Maithripala Sirisena, whose rise to power brought with it hope for […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Authorizes Unauthorized Biographies

(June 17, 2015) On June 10, 2015, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court unanimously decided that it is unconstitutional to require authors to ask for prior authorization of the persons who are the subjects of biographies, or their heirs, before the publication of bibliographic or audiovisual works. This requirement of prior authorization was established in article […]

France: Comedian Condemned for Hate Speech and Condoning Terrorism

(Mar. 26, 2015) The controversial French comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, known simply as Dieudonné, has been the subject of a recent prosecution for a statement condoning terrorism and of several prosecutions involving hate speech. These cases were principally governed by the Law of July 29, 1881, on Freedom of the Press, which is considered one […]

Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan): Proposed Amendment to Media Law

(Feb. 4, 2015) According to a January 30, 2015, report, Kyrgyzstan is considering amendments to its media legislation that would strengthen the ability of the government to take steps against media outlets. The news came in a statement by Emir Zulpuev, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice. The amendments would allow the government to […]

Egypt: Al Jazeera Journalists Deported

(Feb. 4, 2015) On January 31, 2015, the Egyptian authorities deported two foreign journalists who had been imprisoned for the past year. The two journalists, who worked for Al Jazeera’s English-language service, are Peter Greste, an Australian citizen, and Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian Canadian. Fahmy had to renounce his Egyptian citizenship to be able to […]

Egypt: Court of Cassation Accepted Petition from Al Jazeera Journalists

(Jan. 8, 2015) On January 1, 2015, the Court of Cassation, the highest judicial body in the Egyptian court system, accepted the petition for a retrial submitted by the defense lawyer for a group of Al Jazeera journalists who had been detained in December 2013. The Court of Cassation has the authority to scrutinize decisions […]