#Tracker_19

Live updates of Covid-19 impacts of press freedom

Launched by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), “Tracker 19” is a tool made for an unprecedented global crisis. So named in reference not only to Covid-19 but also article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this project aims to evaluate the pandemic’s impacts on journalism. It will document state censorship and deliberate disinformation, and their impact on the right to reliable news and information. It will also make recommendations on how to defend journalism.

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News feed


European media that criticized the Hungarian Prime Minister asked to apologize

June 19, 2020

Last week was deadly for media workers in Afghanistan, with two killed by a roadside bomb and two killed by Covid-19, which continues to spread among the country’s journalists. Media workers must be protected from both violence and the pandemic, says a concerned Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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Covid-19 crisis used as pretext to obstruct reporting in Dutch Antilles

June 16, 2020

A journalist in Aruba working for the Dutch public broadcasting service is being prosecuted for violating the curfew that was declared on the island to contain the pandemic, although she was just doing her job. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on local authorities to drop the charges and condemns the hardening conditions for journalists in the Dutch territory.

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New Tajik legislation hampers coronavirus coverage

June 12, 2020

Last week was deadly for media workers in Afghanistan, with two killed by a roadside bomb and two killed by Covid-19, which continues to spread among the country’s journalists. Media workers must be protected from both violence and the pandemic, says a concerned Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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Kurdistan government threatens TV channel with sanctions

June 11, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities in northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region to refrain from any further pressure on the Kurdish TV channel NRT to stop supporting protests against the curfew declared by the government as part of its measures to combat Covid-19.

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Afghan journalists fall victim to both bombings and Covid-19

June 4, 2020

Last week was deadly for media workers in Afghanistan, with two killed by a roadside bomb and two killed by Covid-19, which continues to spread among the country’s journalists. Media workers must be protected from both violence and the pandemic, says a concerned Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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Open letter to Bangladeshi premier on Covid-19 press freedom violations

June 4, 2020

Five Bangladeshi and international organizations that defend the freedom to inform have written to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asking her to take concrete action to guarantee journalistic freedom in the face of an alarming surge in physical and judicial attacks on reporters and cartoonists in connection with the Covid-19 crisis.

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Kazakh journalists harassed over Covid-19 reporting

June 2, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an end to the harassment of journalists covering the Covid-19 epidemic in Kazakhstan, where they have been subjected to interrogation, prosecution and violation of the confidentiality of their sources in connection with their reporting.

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Covid-19: RSF urges Japan government to lift restrictions on access to press conferences

May 29, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges Japan's government to lift restrictions on access to press conferences, measures which were taken when the Covid-19 crisis led to a state of emergency that ended on 25 May.

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Brazil: brazilian media stop going to “dangerous” presidential press conferences

May 28, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the increasing aggressiveness of President Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters towards journalists attending his press conferences, which has led many media outlets to announce that they will cease to go for the time being. The authorities must put a stop to these unprecedented and unacceptable threats to the media, RSF said.

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UK: Press freedom under threat in lockdown as government dismisses reporting from “campaigning newspapers”

May 27, 2020

Vindictive responses by governmental bodies to public interest reporting on stories related to the Covid-19 pandemic - including the latest slur of “campaigning newspapers” - and restrictions on journalists’ participation in government press briefings are fuelling a growing climate of hostility and public distrust in media in the UK. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an immediate reversal of this worrying trend before the country’s press freedom climate is further eroded.

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Journalist flees South Africa after police beatings over lockdown reporting

May 27, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the South African authorities to guarantee the freedom and safety of journalists covering the coronavirus epidemic and to punish all those responsible for abuses against reporters, including the newspaper editor who fled to Lesotho last week after repeated police beatings.

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Surge in harassment of Indian reporters over coronavirus coverage

May 27, 2020

After logging an alarming total of 15 cases of police and judicial harassment of Indian journalists in the past four weeks, mainly in connection with their coronavirus coverage, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the supreme court to remind the governments of India’s various territories of their constitutional duty to respect press freedom.

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Slovenia: Trump’s disciple attacks journalists and introduces a systemic change

May 26, 2020

Inspired by the U.S. President and backed by Hungarian oligarchs’ media investments, the Slovenian government wages hate campaigns against critical journalists, while attempting to tighten the control over the public television. Given the threats, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) asks for guarantees of the safety of journalists and of independence of the public broadcaster.

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Zimbabwe: Two journalists held for violating coronavirus lockdown rules

May 26, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the release of two Zimbabwean journalists who were arrested last week while investigating violence against three opposition activists and condemns the way the police used Covid-19 lockdown regulations as a pretext for detaining them.

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Covid-19: six Chinese defenders of press freedom still in detention

May 26, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges Beijing to immediately release the six journalists, commentators, and defenders of press freedom currently detained for sharing information related to the Covid-19 epidemic.

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Myanmar journalist jailed for two years for reporting Covid-19 death

May 22, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the two-year prison sentence that a journalist has received in Myanmar for trying to shed light on the real coranavirus toll in the eastern state of Karen, which has seen a sudden return of migrant workers from neighbouring Thailand.

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RSF denounces China’s expulsion of NYT correspondent who reported extensively on Covid-19

May 20, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns Beijing’s expulsion early May of New York Times correspondent who reported extensively on Covid-19 and urges the Chinese authorities to put an end to visa reprisals against journalists.

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Covid-19 lockdown forces Liberia’s newspapers to suspend printing

May 19, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the government of Liberia to provide financial assistance to the country’s print media, which have had to suspend production of print versions because of a nationwide lockdown that is part of the state of emergency declared by the government on 8 April in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Not even coronavirus escapes Equatorial Guinea’s extreme censorship

May 18, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the suspension of a very popular daily TV current affairs programme and its seven journalists in Equatorial Guinea after they showed soldiers using violence to enforce the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

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DRC: Congolese reporter charged with violating Covid-19 restrictions

May 15, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities in Kasaï-Oriental province, in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to drop all charges against Faustin Mbiya, a radio journalist who was held arbitrarily for three days for violating Covid-19 lockdown measures. Journalism is an essential activity during a crisis, RSF said.

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Violence has unleashed against German journalists covering demonstrations in three major cities

May 15, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) fears that the repeated assaults against journalists in Germany will have a chilling effect on the media. The most violent attack took place on May 1 at a protest in the German capital, leaving four journalists injured, but similar incidents occurred also at other demonstrations in Berlin, Dortmund and Hamburg.

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Two European cartoonists threatened over cartoons with religious and political content

May 14, 2020

Two cartoonists, a Hungarian and a Swede, are targeted by violent online harassment campaigns, because they ridiculed religious and political authorities. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the unacceptable pressures that undermine the right to inform in the heart of Europe.

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Republic of Congo: State TV urged to reinstate news anchor sidelined after coronavirus interview

May 14, 2020

Like the Republic of Congo’s media regulator, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on state TV broadcaster Télé Congo to reinstate Rocil Otouna, who was discreetly sidelined as news anchor after putting some difficult questions about the coronavirus crisis to the justice minister in an interview two weeks ago.

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Bangladeshi journalists, cartoonist, arrested for Covid-19 coverage

May 14, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to immediately release well-known figures held in connection with their coverage of the coronavirus crisis and to drop all charges against them. At least 12 journalists and bloggers have been charged under the draconian 2018 Digital Security Act since the start of May.

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Turkish journalists arrested for reporting Covid-19 cases

May 11, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns arrests of journalists covering the Covid-19 epidemic in Turkey, where the authorities have been tightening their grip on information since the start of the epidemic.

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Afghan cleric who defied Covid-19 lockdown threatens woman journalist

May 11, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Afghan authorities to protect Vida Saghari, a journalist and women’s rights activist who is being threatened by a fundamentalist cleric in the western city of Herat because she criticized him for holding a religious gathering in violation of the coronavirus lockdown.

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Platforms urged to prevent harassment of journalists covering Covid-19

May 11, 2020

At a time when the media are playing a crucial role in publishing reliable information about the Covid-19 epidemic, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the increase in online harassment of journalists in all parts of the world, often at the behest of politicians and political parties, and calls on digital platforms to step up their efforts to protect journalists.

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China: detained for fighting censorship

May 11, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges Beijing to free three defenders of press freedom who have been detained in Chinese black prisons since April 19 for reposting censored news articles on an open-source website.

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Guatemala. Don’t put the Guatemalan press in quarantine!

May 8, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the open hostility that Guatemala’s new president is showing towards the media and calls for more governmental transparency so that journalists can cover the coronavirus pandemic.

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Italy: Release of mafia bosses due to pandemic results in new threats against journalists

May 8, 2020

An Italian journalist covering organised crime who lives under police protection was targeted by a new attack. An early release of dozens of members of the mafia, aimed at containing the spread of the virus in prisons, undermines the past efforts of the Italian judiciary.

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Ukrainian police attack reporter covering protest against Covid-19 lockdown

May 7, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns an assault by Ukrainian police against a reporter who was filming an anti-lockdown protest in Kiev on 29 April and calls on the authorities to enforce the country’s legislation penalizing violence against journalists.

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Malaysian police investigate reporter who covered Covid-19 arrests

May 6, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Malaysian authorities to drop all charges against a reporter who is facing a possible two-year jail sentence on a charge of breaching the peace for covering the mass arrests of migrant workers as part of the country’s efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Kazakh journalists harassed over Covid-19 reporting

April 30, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an end to the harassment of journalists covering the Covid-19 epidemic in Kazakhstan, where they have been subjected to interrogation, prosecution and violation of the confidentiality of their sources in connection with their reporting.

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Attacks on media in Europe must not become a new normal

April 29, 2020

Attacks on press freedom in Europe are at serious risk of becoming a new normal, 14 international press freedom groups and journalists’ organisations warn today as they launch the 2020 annual report of the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalists. The fresh assault on media freedom amid the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened an already gloomy outlook.

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RSF compiles 15 coronavirus safety recommendations specifically for Pakistani journalists

April 29, 2020

Amid a rapid surge in the number of Pakistani journalists testing positive to coronavirus, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and its partner, Freedom Network Pakistan (FNPK), have compiled 15 recommendations for Pakistani news media so that they can avoid putting their journalists and employees in danger.

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Coronavirus: RSF denounces China’s censorship on academic publications

April 29, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces China’s recent censorship on some coronavirus publications, a move that may deprive the international community of essential information to fight the pandemic.

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UK: Adjournment of Julian Assange’s US extradition hearing considered amidst coronavirus concerns

April 27, 2020

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team has requested adjournment of his US extradition hearing to allow for adequate preparation of his defence, amidst concerns for his health as COVID-19 reportedly spreads at Belmarsh prison. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates the need for Assange’s immediate release before his health is further jeopardised, and calls for the extradition hearing to be postponed until lockdown conditions are lifted.

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Covid-19 triggers surge in violence, prosecutions against Bangladeshi journalists

April 27, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the increase in cases of civilian and police violence and judicial harassment of journalists trying to cover coronavirus-related issues in Bangladesh in the month since a general lockdown was imposed on the population. Many of the cases are detailed below.

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Tanzanian reporter banned for six months for coronavirus coverage

April 25, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a series of disproportionate sanctions on Tanzanian media outlets and journalists in connection with their coronavirus coverage and urges the authorities not to reinforce the climate of harassment and fear in Tanzania, where press freedom has declined steadily since 2016.

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US – RSF calls on Trump administration to allow free flow of information on coronavirus

April 23, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the chilling trend of press access denials and retaliatory measures against journalists, government employees and whistleblowers attempting to report on and speak out about the COVID-19 crisis in the United States. It is a matter of urgent public health that journalists freely report on this pandemic and those with information related to the pandemic speak out without fear of retribution.

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“Fake news” bill will tighten gag on press freedom in Algeria

April 23, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns an Algerian bill criminalizing “fake news” that “undermines public order and security” or “state security and national unity.” This vaguely worded and draconian legislation is designed to tighten the gag on press freedom, RSF said.

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Azerbaijani reporter jailed for 30 days over coronavirus reporting

April 22, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of Natig Isbatov, an Azerbaijani freelance reporter jailed for allegedly violating lockdown regulations by filming a protest outside an employment office in Baku, and urges the authorities to stop using the public health crisis to crack down harder on critical reporting.

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Beware of China’s coronavirus disinformation, RSF says

April 18, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges everyone to beware of the global disinformation campaign about the coronavirus that Beijing has been orchestrating ever since the start of the pandemic, which has so far killed 150,000 people and infected more than 2 million others worldwide.

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Russia censors Novaya Gazeta at Chechen leader’s behest

April 17, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the Russian media control agency Roskomnadzor’s "unacceptable" censorship of an article in the leading Moscow investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta about Chechnya’s chaotic and authoritarian management of the coronavirus crisis.

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Iraqi Kurdistan: Wave of arrests of journalists since Covid-19’s arrival

April 17, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an end to the wave of arrests and harassment of journalists under way in Iraqi Kurdistan since Covid-19 arrived in the region. At least four journalists have been arrested by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s security forces in the past month.

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Indonesia used Covid-19 to silence criticism of government

April 16, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed to learn that Indonesia’s police have been ordered to combat not only disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic but also criticism of the president and government. Linking the two is very dangerous, RSF says, calling on the police to allow journalists to work freely.

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Brazil quarterly analysis. President Bolsonaro’s systematic attempts to reduce the media to silence

April 16, 2020

In the first of a new series of quarterly assessments of press freedom violations in Brazil in 2020, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) examines President Jair Bolsonaro’s strategy for smearing and undermining the journalists and media outlets that annoy him.

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RSF complains to UN about coronavirus press freedom violations

April 15, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has written to two United Nations special rapporteurs asking them to formally condemn governments that have violated the right to information in connection with the coronavirus epidemic, thereby putting public health and lives in danger both in their own countries and the rest of the world.

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Covid-19 lockdown forces Liberia’s newspapers to suspend printing

April 15, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the government of Liberia to provide financial assistance to the country’s print media, which have had to suspend production of print versions because of a nationwide lockdown that is part of the state of emergency declared by the government on 8 April in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Two Jordanian TV journalists arrested after broadcasting criticism of lockdown

April 14, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of two senior Jordanian TV journalists who have been arrested over a news report about the economic impact of a lockdown ordered by the government to combat the spread of Covid-19.

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Salvadorean authorities must not obstruct coronavirus coverage

April 11, 2020

After a series of press freedom violations in El Salvador, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Salvadorean authorities to display more transparency and to allow journalists to do their job of covering the coronavirus pandemic.

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How India’s government tries to suppress all Covid-19 reporting

April 12, 2020

Three weeks after India imposed a nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) looks back at the government’s frantic race to control all aspects of information about the crisis, trampling on journalistic freedom in the process.

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Whistleblowing doctor missing after criticizing Beijing's coronavirus censorship

April 10, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Chinese authorities to urgently clarify the situation of Dr. Ai Fen, a whistleblower who has been unreachable for the past two weeks after giving interviews to the media in which she criticized Beijing’s censorship of information about the coronavirus epidemic.

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Coronavirus: State measures must not allow surveillance of journalists and their sources



April 10, 2020

When governments use mobile phone location and contact data to trace the recent contacts of coronavirus carriers with the aim of containing the spread of the virus, they must ensure that these measures are proportionate, transparent and time-limited and are not used to spy on journalists or violate the confidentiality of their sources, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warns.

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Wave of attacks on reporters covering coronavirus lockdown in Ukraine

April 10, 2020

After a wave of physical attacks or other acts of intimidation or obstruction of journalists covering the coronavirus lockdown in Ukraine, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities to guarantee the safety of media personnel and to ensure that they are able to report on the coronavirus epidemic.

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Five Zimbabwean reporters arrested while covering coronavirus lockdown

April 10, 2020

Zimbabwe is currently Africa’s biggest press freedom violator in connection with coronavirus crisis, with no fewer than five arrests of journalists in the past 12 days. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Zimbabwean authorities to give the police clear instructions to let journalists work freely instead of detaining them.

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Repressive laws, prosecutions, attacks… Europe fails to shield its journalists against the abuse of the COVID-19 crisis

April 9, 2020

While contributing to the fight against the coronavirus, journalists in the Balkans and Central Europe are attacked by governments as well as other actors they criticise. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) call on national and European institutions to protect the media as they fulfill their public mission in risky conditions.

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Coronavirus: Spanish government yields to the pressure of journalists and agrees to live press conferences

April 9, 2020

Spanish journalists are finally able to pose their questions to ministers in a live communication and without intermediaries. Thanks to the mobilisation of journalists’ associations, backed by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Spanish government abandoned its practice of asking for questions in writing and in advance.

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Cambodia: Hun Sen uses Covid-19 crisis to tighten his grip

April 9, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges Cambodia’s legislators to amend a proposed state of emergency law they are due to vote on in the next few days and, in particular, to eliminate gross violations of the freedom to inform and be informed that could have serious consequences during the coronavirus crisis.

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Ghana urged to ensure safety of reporters covering Covid-19

April 9, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Ghanaian authorities to guarantee the safety of media personnel covering the coronavirus crisis after a radio journalist was attacked by a soldier and then placed in police custody while reporting in Kumasi, a city 259 km northwest of Accra, on 5 April.

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Coronavirus crisis makes reporting even harder in Tajikistan

April 9, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for more transparency and an end to harassment of journalists in Tajikistan, where the authorities insist there are no coronavirus cases and refuse to respond to journalists’ questions about the public health situation, accusing them of "sowing panic."  Two journalists have been questioned at length by the police.

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RSF calls on Trump to end attacks on journalists, encourages news outlets to assess coverage of COVID-19 briefings

April 8, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on President Donald Trump to end the vicious attacks on reporters covering the White House’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. RSF also encourages news organizations to assess their live coverage of the COVID-19 briefings.

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Somali officials cannot claim Covid-19 information monopoly, RSF and NUSOJ say

April 7, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the National Union of Somali journalists (NUSOJ) call on the Somali authorities, including federal member states and Somaliland, to refrain from claiming a monopoly of information about the coronavirus crisis and ensure that reporters can fulfil their vital role of informing the public in a free and independent manner.

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Comoros: Journalist threatened for exposing flaws in handling of coronavirus crisis

April 7, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the Comorian government’s threat to prosecute a journalist who revealed the existence of this Indian Ocean archipelago’s first suspected coronavirus cases. The authorities must guarantee the protection of journalists’ sources and not obstruct their work, which is more essential than ever during a public health crisis, RSF said.

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Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent

April 7, 2020

While the Covid-19 pandemic is now hitting Africa with full force, with more than 10,000 cases and nearly 500 deaths, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 80 rights and press freedom organizations have written to the ten heads of state and government of the African countries which count in their jails journalists arbitrarily imprisoned, asking them to release them without delay.

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Coronavirus: RSF concerned for freedom of the press as Japan declares state of emergency

April 7, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Japanese government to exclude the media from the list of companies and associations that could receive its instructions under the state of emergency and asks for a revision of the law to guarantee press freedom at any time.

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Indian newspaper accused of “fake news” about lockdown’s impact on poor

April 7, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns an attempt by the authorities in the Indian city of Varanasi, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, to censor a local newspaper that reported that members of a disadvantaged community near the city were going hungry as a result of the lockdown ordered by the federal government on 24 March in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

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Philippine journalist forced to apologize for criticizing coronavirus “inaction”

April 7, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled to learn that supporters of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pressured a student newspaper editor into issuing a public apology and, in effect, renouncing his right to free speech after he criticized the government’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic.

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Iraqi regulator wants to suspend Reuters over coronavirus reporting

April 3, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Iraqi authorities to rescind their decision to suspend the Reuters news agency’s licence to operate in Iraq for three months because of an article suggesting that the government was vastly understating the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

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In mid-coronavirus crisis, Myanmar blocks 221 sites for “fake news”

April 3, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Myanmar’s authorities to immediately restore mobile phone access to the 221 news websites they have arbitrarily blocked on the pretext of combatting disinformation during the Covid-19 crisis, in what is a disturbingly authoritarian move.

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Six Ivorian journalists heavily fined in March

April 2, 2020

After a significant fall in press freedom violations in recent years in Côte d’Ivoire, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is disturbed by the heavy and completely unjustified fines imposed on six journalists in summary proceedings in the past month. They send an alarming signal during the Covid-19 pandemic and ahead of the presidential election at the end of 2020.

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Two Philippine journalists face two months in prison for coronavirus reporting

April 2, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Philippine prosecutors to abandon all proceedings against journalists under a new law that supposedly combats “false information” about the coronavirus crisis but in fact constitutes a grave violation of press freedom.

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Chadian police attack TV crew covering coronavirus measures

April 2, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns Chadian police violence against a national TV crew covering coronavirus-related restrictions on public gatherings, and calls on Chad’s authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure that journalists can cover the pandemic without fear of reprisals.

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Information in Afghanistan, Covid-19 adds to problems from war

April 2, 2020

As the coronavirus spreads in Afghanistan, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Centre for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists (CPAWJ) are concerned about its impact on the country’s journalists, especially women journalists, who are more vulnerable. They are threatened by economic precarity, the lack of protection and fierce competition between media outlets in the race for the news.

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As doubt persists on North Korea’s “zero” coronavirus cases, RSF urges for transparency

April 1, 2020

As North Korea still reports “zero” coronavirus cases despite evidence suggesting cases in the thousands, RSF exhorts the regime to allow international media to investigate on the topic.

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China’s diplomats must stop attacking media over coronavirus reporting

April 1, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges China’s ambassadors around the world to stop denigrating media outlets that criticize Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

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Orbán’s Orwellian law paves way for “information police state” in Hungary

April 1, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) fears that government will take total control over national media and calls on European institutions to take urgent action in order to prevent the elimination of press freedom and, with it, democracy in Hungary.

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Brazil’s president attacks media instead of combatting coronavirus

March 31, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s shockingly irresponsible and inflammatory verbal attacks on the media as he continues to deny the importance of the coronavirus epidemic, although it has affected Brazil more than any other country in Latin America.

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Turkey: Rights groups call for urgent release of imprisoned journalists, human rights defenders and others, now at risk of Covid-19

March 31, 2020

Amid growing concerns over the spread of Covid-19 in prisons, the Turkish government is accelerating the preparation of a draft law that will reportedly release up to 100,000 prisoners. This is a welcome step. Overcrowding and unsanitary facilities already pose a serious health threat to Turkey’s prison population of nearly 300,000 prisoners and about tens of thousands of prison staff. That will only be exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. However, we remain concerned that journalists, human rights defenders and others imprisoned for simply exercising their rights, and others who should be released, will remain behind bars in the package of measures as currently conceived by the government.

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Thailand uses Covid-19 to restrict the freedom to inform

March 31, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns last week’s decree in Thailand under which the government, on the pretext of regulating coronavirus information, gave itself the right to decide what is true and what is false. The freedom to inform must be respected at this crucial time, RSF says.

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Coronavirus off limits in Turkmenistan

March 31, 2020

The Turkmen authorities are avoiding use of the word “coronavirus” as much as possible in order to deter the spread of information about the pandemic. By doing so, Turkmenistan’s government is putting its citizens in danger, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says.

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Belarusian journalist arrested for criticizing president’s Covid-19 approach

March 31, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of a Belarusian news website editor who is facing up to ten years in prison on a corruption charge after criticizing the president’s relaxed approach to the Covid-19 epidemic. The Belarusian government is trying to intimidate independent media outlets, RSF says.

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Coronavirus: RSF condemns curbs on access to news and information online

March 30, 2020

As the Covid-19 epidemic continues to spread across the globe, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on governments that are restricting Internet access and blocking websites to restore the public’s access to information on this vital subject and to allow journalists to use the Internet freely to work and publish their reporting.

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Coronavirus infects press freedom in Africa

March 29, 2020

As journalists and media covering the coronavirus pandemic’s spread in Africa continue to be subjected to censorship, acts of intimidation and physical violence, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on African governments not to go after the wrong target and to guarantee press freedom, which is more essential than ever at this time.

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Middle East governments clamp down on coronavirus coverage

March 27, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned to see Middle Eastern governments taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to step up state censorship and to reaffirm their monopoly of the dissemination of news and information.

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Coronavirus : mass expulsion of foreign correspondents further cripples freedom of information in China

March 27, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the regime to reverse its decision to expel 13 US foreign correspondents today and insists that independent reporting is, now more than ever, critical in the fight against the coronavirus.

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Coronavirus: RSF calls on China to release all detained journalists

March 26, 2020

While there remains a risk of coronavirus contamination in Chinese prisons, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Beijing to immediately release all detained journalists.

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Russia suppresses coronavirus information at home, manipulates it abroad

March 26, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned to see the Russian government stepping up control of domestic reporting in connection with the coronavirus epidemic while, according to the European Union, conducting a disinformation campaign about it internationally. 

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India: Kashmir’s blocked Internet could be deadly during coronavirus pandemic

March 27, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Indian government to immediately restore high-speed (4G) Internet in the Kashmir Valley, where the existing restrictions on communications are potentially criminal during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19 and press freedom: Europe must oppose measures proposed by Viktor Orbán

March 26, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) joins eight other organisations for the defense of freedoms in order to express its profound concern about the risk that governments use the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine fundamental rights and free flow of information. The draft law discussed in Hungary is a step towards a complete repression of press freedom. Yet, the need for media scrutiny is now stronger than ever.

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DRC - Congolese police run down reporter covering coronavirus lockdown

March 26, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the use of violence by police against a reporter who was covering a coronavirus lockdown in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and urges the authorities to allow journalists who respect public health requirements to keep working at a time when reliable, independent reporting is needed more than ever.

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Coronavirus: The information heroes China silenced

March 25, 2020

Three months after the first reports of coronavirus cases were posted on Chinese social media and began circulating within civil society, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) looks back at the way the Chinese state, in its obsession with complete control over information, has cracked down relentlessly on all independent information outlets.

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“If the Chinese press were free, the coronavirus might not be a pandemic,” argues RSF

March 24, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) shows that, without the control and censorship imposed by the authorities, the Chinese media would have informed the public much earlier of the severity of the coronavirus epidemic, sparing thousands of lives and perhaps avoiding the current pandemic.

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Three Pakistani reporters catch coronavirus

March 23, 2020

After three Pakistani TV journalists who do field reporting tested positive for Covid-19, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Pakistani media to temporarily close their bureaux for the sake of the health of their staff.

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Chinese ambassador in France has no right to give lessons in coronavirus coverage

March 20, 2020

The secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Christophe Deloire, is appalled by the criticism of the French media and their coronavirus coverage being voiced by the Chinese ambassador in France, Lu Shaye.

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RSF calls on China to stop cracking down on voices criticizing its coronavirus management

March 19, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads worldwide, the Beijing regime strives to silence critical voices calling into question the party-state’s management of the crisis.

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Platforms response to coronavirus shows that, when they want, they can

March 19, 2020

In response to the flood of rumours and misinformation about the coronavirus epidemic, leading online platforms have taken unprecedented measures to promote reliable information – measures contrary to their usual practices. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges them to promote trustworthy content whatever the subject concerned.

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Egypt withdraws British reporter’s press credentials for questioning official coronavirus figures

March 18, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) accuses the Egyptian authorities of reacting disproportionately and abusing their powers by withdrawing a Guardian reporter's press credentials and issuing a warning to a New York Times reporter for questioning the official figures for coronavirus cases in Egypt.

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RSF urges China to rescind decision to expel New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post reporters

March 18, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Beijing to reverse its decision to expel all American journalists working in China with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

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Iranian journalists hounded for disputing official coronavirus figures

March 13, 2020

As the official statistics continue to conceal the coronavirus epidemic’s real impact in Iran, the Iranian authorities are stepping up their harassment of journalists who are providing independent coverage of the spread of the virus and, in particular, the real number of deaths.

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Harassment of foreign reporters is becoming systematic in China

March 4, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Chinese authorities to end their harassment of foreign reporters and their sources, which is increasing, according to a report published yesterday by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC).

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Detained journalists threatened by spread of coronavirus in Iran’s prisons

March 4, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is extremely concerned about Iran’s imprisoned journalists, who are denied proper medical care at the best of times and who now risk dying from the coronavirus that is spreading in the country’s prisons.

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Iran concealing coronavirus figures, blocking independent reporting

February 26, 2020

According to Iranian official reports today, the coronavirus epidemic has killed 15 people and infected a total of 95 in the Islamic Republic, which seems to be concealing information about the epidemic in line with China’s example. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns Iran’s persecution of media outlets and journalists publishing independent information.

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RSF urges China to stop censoring information about coronavirus epidemic

February 24, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Chinese government to stop obstructing journalists covering the coronavirus epidemic and points out that only complete transparency will help to avoid the spread of rumours that exacerbate the crisis.

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RSF urges China to rescind decision to expel three WSJ reporters

February 21, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Chinese authorities to reverse their decision to expel three Wall Street Journal journalists based in Beijing because of an opinion piece the newspaper published about China’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic.

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