25th - 26th SEPTEMBER 2019  |  OLYMPIA

One Free Press Coalition Spotlights Journalists Under Attack

Wired 02 Dec 2019 02:00

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

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

1. Sophia Xueqin Huang (China)
Hong Kong protests reporter detained for vague crime.

China is the second-leading country for imprisoned journalists, according to CPJ. One among them is Sophia Xueqin Huang, a journalist who has covered the extended and ongoing unrest in Hong Kong this year and has been detained in Guangzhou since October on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” The vague crime could mean five years in prison for the former Xinquaibao and Southern Metropolis Weekly investigative reporter.

2. Jamal Khashoggi (Saudi Arabia)
Corporate voices meet government silence on journalist’s brazen killing.

At least six corporate heads, including that of JPMorgan Chase and Google Cloud, decried Saudi Arabia this year, and Amazon’s CEO appeared at a memorial service marking one year since the death of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Kingdom’s Istanbul consulate. All of this comes as the White House has skirted the subject and repeated pressure to launch an independent criminal investigation into the Saudi crown prince’s alleged involvement in the brazen killing of the Washington Post columnist.

3. Luis Carlos Díaz (Venezuela)
Authorities ignore deadline for dropping journalist’s charges.

After Luis Carlos Díaz was detained for more than 24 hours in March, Venezuelan prosecutors needed to present evidence supporting charges of “public instigation” by November 12 or the case against Díaz could be closed. The decision is still pending, leaving the dual Spanish citizen and Unión Radio News reporter prohibited from leaving the country or speaking publicly about his detention and expected to report to intelligence agents every week. In addition to arrest, officials raided his apartment, confiscating or stealing money, computers, phones and personal items.

4. Svetlana Prokopyeva (Russia)
Repeated threats and measures to silence Russian reporter.

The past year has brought continued attacks against Pskov-based stringer Svetlana Prokopyeva, a freelance contributor for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty who reported a story about a young man who detonated a bomb inside a government building. Prokopyeva was accused of “publicly inciting terrorism,” was placed on a list of “terrorists and extremists” and endured a raid of her home, seizure of possessions and her passport and freezing of bank accounts. She is facing up to seven years in jail on terrorism-related charges. Reporters covering her case are now being harassed too.

5. Qazi Shibli (India)
Health concerns for imprisoned Kashmiri editor.

The family of Qazi Shibli has expressed concerns that The Kashmiriyat news website editor has grown weak since his July detainment. As Kashmir autonomy lessened and Shibli reported on increased troop deployments into the region, he has been held on charges including “waging war against the Union of India,” “creating fear and panic among common people” and being “deeply involved in disrupting the peaceful atmosphere.” He is now imprisoned out of state more than 600 miles away, and the family has hired a lawyer to help file a petition for bail.

6. Hamid al-Mahdaoui (Morocco)
Mistreatment for journalist imprisoned on baseless charges.

Continue reading original article...