Top 10 List Focuses on Threat Trends Against Journalists

To close 2021, the monthly list of the “10 most urgent” of the One Free Press Coalition presents “the year of the freedom of the press”. The 10 cases concern trends in threats against journalists, from impunity to imprisonment, from surveillance to harassment. Media around the world are joining together to publish this monthly list to draw attention to cases of journalists being attacked around the world.

1. Zhang zhan (China)

Zhang Zhan went on a hunger strike behind bars and is now in critical condition. It has been nearly a year since the freelance journalist was sentenced to four years in prison for “choosing quarrels and causing unrest” after posting videos criticizing the government’s response to Wuhan’s COVID-19.

2. Olivier Dubois (Mali)

French journalist Olivier Dubois disappeared in May while covering the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group Jamaa Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM). A few days later, a video of Dubois was released, revealing that he was being held by JNIM. He is still missing, as his family continues to fight tirelessly for answers to his plight.

3. April Ehrlich (UNITED STATES)

In September 2020, police arrested local radio reporter April Ehrlich in Portland, OR, while covering evictions of people living in a city park. Police charged her with criminal trespassing, interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest. Some of these offenses could result in jail terms of up to 364 days and fines of up to $ 6,250.

4. Lázaro Youri Valle Roca (Cuba)

A Cuban journalist covering Cuban social and political affairs on his YouTube channel has been in pre-trial detention for nearly six months now as part of an investigation into contempt and sharing enemy propaganda. The day before his arrest, he published a video chronicling pro-democracy leaflets thrown from a building in Havana.

5. Juan Lorenzo Holmann and Miguel Mendoza (Nicaragua)

Juan Lorenzo Holmann, editor of La Prensa, and journalist Miguel Mendoza have been jailed since this summer – in a prison known for its poor conditions and torture – on false charges in retaliation for their critical reporting and comments. Their imprisonment comes at a time when the crackdown on the press intensifies in the country and as dozens of journalists have gone into exile.

6. Hanthar Nyien (Myanmar)

News Producer at Kayamut Media was jailed last March under section 505 (a) of the penal code and another criminal charge for his journalism. His colleagues said that during his incarceration, he was tortured and deprived of food and water.

seven. Ayşenur Parıldak (Turkey)

Ayşenur Parıldak, court reporter for the closed daily Zaman, was arrested in 2016 as part of a wider crackdown on the press following the 2016 coup in Turkey. He was refused parole, despite the fact that other journalists accused of the same charges have since been released.

8. Ksenia Lutskina (Belarus)

Ksenia Lutskina, a freelance journalist, was arrested after attending an event at Press Club Belarus, where five club members were also arrested and all charged with tax evasion. If found guilty, she faces seven years in prison. Lutskina, who has a brain tumor, was denied medical treatment while in detention.

9. Mina Khairi (Afghanistan)

Mina Khairi, a presenter for local television station Ariana News TV in Kabul, was killed last June after unidentified assailants detonated an improvised explosive device attached to a van. Afghanistan ranks 5th on CPJ’s 2021 Impunity Index.

ten. Rana ayyoub (India)

In June, Uttar Pradesh police filed a criminal complaint saying they were investigating columnist and journalist Rana Ayyub, as well as Thread, and two other journalists. Ayyub has long been the target of harassment and misinformation campaigns online in response to his comments and reporting.

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