Free press coalition sheds light on attacked journalists – April 2021


In May 2019, WIRED has joined the One Free Press Coalition, a united group of leading editors and publishers using their global reach and social platforms to shine a light on journalists under attack around the world.

On April 1, 2021, the One Free Press Coalition launched the 26th monthly list of the “10 most urgent cases” concerning press freedom around the world. This iteration focuses on cases of journalists who have experienced retaliation related to online and social media posts.

In many countries around the world, especially those with repressive media environments, social media is one of the few avenues for journalists to publish critical stories. Censorship on social media platforms can take many forms, including journalists threatened with arrest for posts, deletion of articles or pages, as well as the censorship journalists experience when they are victims. online harassment from state and non-state actors.

Another harmful threat to online journalists is the prevalence of sophisticated spyware. As CPJ found in its newly launched campaign, dozens of journalists around the world have been the victims of spyware attacks by state actors, threatening a journalist’s personal information, sources and even his own physical security.

Of the 274 journalists behind bars in 2020, 79% report and publish on the internet, and 58% are considered internet reporters. Another growing threat to press freedom is online harassment. Given its prevalence for journalists, especially women and people of color, it is often difficult to quantify the number, but as a story IWMF and CPJ as has been shown, it constitutes a serious threat to press freedom.

Recently, the Coalition Against Online Violence launched the Online Violence Response Center with resources for journalists targeted by online abuse. In addition, CPJ provides advice for journalists on digital security.


1. Kabir kishore (Bangladesh)

The designer was reportedly physically abused while being held behind bars. Now on bail, he faces serious health issues and charges under Bangladesh’s digital security law.

2. Lu Yuyu (China)

A Chinese journalist has faced continued harassment since his release from prison: police raided his home, forcing him to move and demanding that he shut down his Twitter account.

3. Hopewell Chin’ono (Zimbabwe)

The journalist has been the subject of repeated arrests and harassment by authorities over the past year for his reporting, and potentially risks years behind bars for “publishing or communicating damaging false statements”. State ”for a tweet about alleged police abuse.

4. Elena Solovyova (Russia)

A Russian freelance journalist has been subjected to an anonymous Telegram channel in an attempt to harass her for her work.

5. Otabek Sattoriy (Uzbekistan)

An Uzbek blogger covering corruption has been arrested and charged with extortion, and his Telegram channel has been taken down.

6. Mohammad Mosaed (Iran)

An online journalist forced to flee Iran and seek exile as he faces more than four years in prison on charges relating to social media posts criticizing the government.

7. Ricardo Noblat (Brazil)

Brazilian authorities have repeatedly threatened criminal investigations against a political news reporter in recent years for re-sharing social media posts criticizing the government and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

8. Arzu Geybulla (Turkey / Azerbaijan)

An Azerbaijani journalist living in Turkey has been the target of a fierce online harassment campaign, forcing her to temporarily disconnect, following the publication of an article accusing her of disrespecting the victims of the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict.

9. Basma Mostafa (Egypt)

An Egyptian journalist arrested and detained in 2020 for disseminating false information, abusing social networks and joining a terrorist organization. Currently free, she remains the subject of charges and has suffered continued judicial harassment.



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