Journalists Under Attack

In 2019, WIRED joined the One Free Press Coalition, a united group of preeminent editors and publishers using their global reach and to spotlight under attack worldwide. Today, the coalition is issuing its sixth monthly “10 Most Urgent” of journalists whose press freedoms are being suppressed or whose cases demand justice.

Chouta, the Web who was arrested in May, denied bail, and charged with and spreading false . His case has been delayed until August 13 and he remains in a maximum-security prison. Aasif Sultan, a reporter for Narrator, was arrested on “anti-state” charges and have been imprisoned for one year on August 27. He has been repeatedly interrogated by , demanding that he reveal his sources.

Here is the August list, ranked in order of urgency:

1. Jamal Khashoggi (Saudi Arabia): Stonewalling continues after UN report implicates Saudi prince for ’s murder.

Months after his brazen killing, and despite findings from the UN and the that point to the Saudi ’s involvement, has been no independent criminal investigation. Calls for the to release reports have gone unheeded, along with a deadline to reply to as required under the . Global Magnitsky .

2. Azory Gwanda (Tanzania): Tanzanian official claims missing journalist is dead—then backtracks.

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

3. Juan Pardinas (Mexico): Mexican newspaper targeted with threats for criticizing new .

Mexican media and journalists have recently reported a increase in threats and over critical reporting of the López Obrador administration. Juan Pardinas, the of Mexican newspaper Reforma, received a barrage of online harassment and threats after President Andrés Manuel 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.

4. Paul Chouta (Cameroon): Journalist in maximum security prison blocked from seeing family.

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 August 13 and he remains in a maximum-security prison.

5. Azimjon Askarov (Kyrgyzstan): Kyrgyz upholds sentence for .

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

6. Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak (Turkey): Turkish journalist 30 years in solitary confinement.

A for opposition newspaper Özgür Düşünce and Can Erzincan , Ayşe 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 , 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.

7. Marzieh Amiri (Iran): Imprisoned journalist denied after for covering May Day .

Iranian authorities arrested Marzieh Amiri, an economics reporter at -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 against national security without giving further details.

8. Jones Abiri (Nigeria): Journalist re-arrested on and charges.

Jones Abiri, the publisher and editor-in- of the Weekly Source, is behind bars on charges under Nigeria’s cybercrimes act, anti-sabotage act, and terrorism 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 from 2016 to 2018.

9. Aasif Sultan (India): Journalist imprisoned one year without due process for covering conflict.

Aasif Sultan, a reporter for Kashmir Narrator, will have been imprisoned one year on August 27, arrested in 2018 and months later 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.

10. Truong Duy Nhat (Vietnam): Blogger who disappeared in imprisoned in .

Truong Duy Nhat, a Vietnamese reporter with Free , went missing in January in , Thailand, where he had for . In March, his 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.

According to CPJ research, the killers go unpunished in nine out of every 10 journalists murdered.

The contains 33 prominent international members including: AméricaEconomía; The ; News; The Globe; BuzzFeed; Switzerland; Corriere Della Sera; De Standaard; ; Estadão; EURACTIV; ; ; ; ; India Today; Insider Inc.; Le Temps; Networks; Office of ; Quartz; Radio Free Asia; Radio Free and Radio Liberty; Republik; ; The Straits Times; Süddeutsche Zeitung; ; TV Azteca; ; The ; WIRED; and News.

One Free Press Coalition partners with the (CPJ) and the International ’s Media (IWMF) to identify the most-urgent cases for the list, which is updated and published on the day of every month. News organizations throughout the can join the Coalition by emailing info@onefreepresscoalition.com.


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