The One Free Press Coalition, a united group of pre-eminent editors and publishers using their global reach and social platforms to spotlight journalists under attack worldwide, today issued its third monthly “10 Most Urgent” list of journalists whose press freedoms are being suppressed or whose cases are seeking justice. Reuters Reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo – who two weeks ago earned Pulitzer Prizes for their series “Myanmar Burning” – and Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered columnist for The Washington Post, are among the journalists on the list.
Published Wednesday by all Coalition members and at https://www.onefreepresscoalition.com, the third “10 Most Urgent” list includes:
1. Azory Gwanda, an independent Tanzanian journalist who went missing in rural Tanzania after investigating mysterious killings in his community. The Tanzanian government has so far failed to launch a credible investigation into his case.
2. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, Reuters journalists who have been imprisoned in Myanmar under the Official Secrets Act following their investigation into a security force massacre of Rohingya men and boys in western Rakhine State. The Myanmar Supreme Court recently upheld their convictions.
3. Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda, the station director and news director, respectively, for 100% Noticias, who were detained following a crackdown on Nicaraguan media and who are being held on charges of “inciting hate and violence.” They have been denied consistent access to legal services.
4. Miroslava Breach Velducea, a correspondent for La Jornada, who was murdered in the state of Chihuahua after reporting on links between politicians and organized crime. Prior to her death, she had received threats on at least three occasions for her reporting.
5. Claudia Duque, a veteran investigative reporter in Colombia who has endured kidnapping, illegal surveillance, psychological torture, and exile as a result of her work. Colombian courts convicted three high-ranking officers of the Colombian security services for torturing Claudia and her daughter in 2003 and 2004. As of May 2019, all the defendants in the case were free.
6. Mahmoud Abou Zeid, who goes by Shawkan, and Alaa Abdelfattah, a photographer and blogger, respectively, in Egypt were released this year after spending more than five years behind bars. However, both report to a police station each evening, and it is up to the police whether they can leave. So far, both have spent every night of their “freedom” behind bars.
7. Aasif Sultan, a reporter with Kashmir Narrator in India, was imprisoned on anti-state charges for covering conflict. He has been repeatedly interrogated and asked to reveal sources by police, and has experienced health issues as he remains behind bars.
8. Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Despite findings from the CIA that point to the Saudi crown prince’s involvement, there has been no independent UN criminal investigation. Calls for the White House to release intelligence reports have gone unheeded, along with a deadline to reply to Congress as required under the US Global Magnitsky Act.
9. Mimi Mefo, who was arrested on false news and cybercrime charges in connection to her reporting on unrest in the conflict-hit North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. While she was released after four days, she continues to speak out against harassment of journalists throughout Cameroon and the impact of the conflict.
10. Anna Nimiriano, a newspaper editor in South Sudan, who lives under constant threat. As editor of the Juba Monitor, Nimiriano fights to keep her colleagues out of jail for their reporting, and has in the past been ordered by the government to shut down the paper. She and her colleagues persevere in spite of arrest threats and constant censorship.
“These brave journalists have given their lives or are being relentlessly repressed and attacked simply for reporting the truth,” said Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer for Forbes. “We welcome the additional news organizations to the growing One Free Press Coalition, whose mission is to use the collective reach of its members to keep public interest on unresolved cases affecting journalists’ freedom everywhere.”
The One Free Press Coalition continues to expand its list of member organizations and has nearly doubled in size since launching three months ago. The sixteen new members include: AméricaEconomía, Bloomberg News, BuzzFeed, Estadão, India Today, Insider Inc., Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Quartz, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, The Straits Times, TV Azteca, The Washington Post, Voice of America and WIRED.
“Today more than ever we are in need of trusted news and information, yet far too many journalists around the world are under attack merely for trying to fulfill that mission,” said Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait. “Bloomberg News is committed to working alongside our One Free Press Coalition colleagues in the critical fight to ensure and protect journalistic freedom.”
“Free press is critical to democracy,” said Nicholas Carlson, global Editor-in-Chief of Insider Inc. “Business Insider is proud to stand in solidarity with our peers to help protect the rights of hardworking journalists around the world.”
“In many parts of the world, the safety of journalists, editors and publishers is under serious threat from those who would silence them,” said Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief, The Straits Times and Singapore Press Holdings’ English, Malay, Tamil Media Group. “The best answer to this is good journalism, letting their stories be told in our media so many others will understand the implications of these developments.”
“WIRED commends the One Free Press Coalition for bringing international attention to the growing threat against the media worldwide,” said WIRED Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson. “We’re honored to join in this urgent fight for journalistic freedom.”
“We must meet these threats to free press and journalist safety with unequivocal resolve and urgency,” said Kevin J. Delaney, Editor-in-Chief of Quartz. “Quartz is proud to join One Free Press Coalition and other partner organizations and will continue the important work of supporting journalists around the world.”
In addition to releasing this month’s “10 Most Urgent List,” the One Free Press Coalition today announced that it is joining The Washington Post’s Press Freedom Partnership. As a Press Freedom partner, One Free Press Coalition will receive complimentary advertising each month in The Washington Post highlighting its “10 Most Urgent” list. The Press Freedom Partnership is an ongoing initiative that aims to highlight organizations working to promote press freedom and raise awareness for the rights of journalists worldwide.
“We see extraordinary results when media organizations collectively offer their resources to increase awareness for the rights of fellow journalists worldwide,” said Fred Ryan, publisher and CEO of The Washington Post. “We are excited to add One Free Press Coalition and thus a group of our esteemed colleagues to the Press Freedom Partnership to work together on this shared interest.”
One Free Press Coalition partners with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) which are instrumental in helping identify the most-urgent cases for the list, which is updated and published on the first day of every month.
News organizations throughout the world can join the Coalition by emailing email@example.com. Members of the public are also encouraged to join the conversation using the hashtag #OneFreePress and following developments on Twitter @OneFreePress.
One Free Press Coalition
The One Free Press Coalition every month spotlights the “10 Most Urgent” journalists who press freedoms are under threat worldwide. The Coalition uses the collective voices of participating news organizations to spotlight brave journalists whose voices are being silenced or have been silenced by “standing up for journalists under attack for pursing the truth.” To see the “10 Most Urgent” list every month and to view a complete list of
One Free Press Coalition PR: firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee to Protect Journalists: Bebe Santa-Wood, email@example.com
International Women’s Media Foundation: Charlotte Fox, firstname.lastname@example.org