Reporters caught between terrorists, govts - watchdog
28 April 2015, 12:07
New York - Journalists are under threat from terror
groups and governments who restrict civil liberties in the name of fighting
terrorism, a US-based media watchdog said in a new report released on Monday.
"Journalists are being caught in a terror dynamic,
in which they are threatened by non-state actors who target them and
governments that restrict civil liberties including press freedom in the name
of fighting terror," said Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director.
The myriad threats, "from surveillance and
self-censorship to violence and imprisonment", make it "the most
deadly and dangerous period for journalists in recent history", Simon
Non-state actors, criminal organisations and violent
political groups pose a significant threat to journalists, press freedom
advocates and news organisations, the report said.
Governments are also abusing anti-terror and national
security laws to silence criticism, it added.
Ethiopia, one of the world's worst jailers of
journalists, has charged most journalists behind bars with promoting terrorism.
Similarly Egypt recently sentenced three reporters to
life in prison because of alleged connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.
In a foreword, CNN chief international correspondent
Christiane Amanpour highlighted the murders of journalists in Syria and of
eight journalists with French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
"With well over 1 000 journalists having been killed
since 1992, and with the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo early in 2015, it is
clear that the threats are not limited to bad years, nor are they going
away," she wrote.
Amanpour said widespread political turmoil and rapid
transmission of information through the Internet was making conflict reporting
more risky than ever.
"From government surveillance and censorship to
computer hacking, from physical attacks to imprisonment, kidnapping and murder,
the aim is to limit or otherwise control the flow of information - an
increasingly complicated effort, with higher and higher stakes."
Journalists in Europe contend with limitations in the
name of privacy, a rise in right-wing extremism and home-grown terrorists, the
In the United States a focus on national security
"forces journalists to think and act like spies to protect their sources”,