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Jamal Khashoggi and Azory Gwanda Remain Atop Latest "10 Most Urgent" List Of Press Freedom Cases From One Free Press Coalition

NEW YORK – August 1, 2019 – 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 the sixth monthly “10 Most Urgent” list of journalists whose press freedoms are being suppressed or whose cases are seeking justice. Remaining number one on the list is Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered columnist for The Washington Post, who has yet to see justice through an independent criminal investigation.

Published this morning by all Coalition members and at https://www.onefreepresscoalition.com, the sixth “10 Most Urgent” list includes the following, ranked in order of urgency:

1. Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was brutally murdered at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, has yet to see an independent criminal investigation. Calls for the White House to release intelligence reports have also gone unanswered.

2. Azory Gwanda, freelance journalist investigating mysterious killings in rural Tanzania, who has been missing since 2017. Gwanda was said to be missing and believed to be dead by Tanzanian Foreign Minister Palamagamba Kabudi, who has since backtracked amid requests for clarification. 

3. Juan Pardinas, the editor-in-chief of Mexican newspaper Reforma, received a barrage of online harassment and threats after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador criticized the newspaper in April. López Obrador acknowledged the threats against Pardinas and said that his government had offered protective measures to the journalist.

4. Paul Chouta, the Cameroon Web reporter was arrested in May, denied bail and charged with defamation and spreading false news. Chouta’s editor said he suspects the case was in retaliation for critical reporting. His case has been delayed until August 13 and he remains in a maximum-security prison.

5. Azimjon Askarov, an award-winning journalist, who is an ethnic Uzbek, has spent nine years in prison on trumped-up charges for his reporting on human rights violations. Despite persistent international condemnation and calls for his release, a Kyrgyz court that had reviewed his case in light of new legislation ruled to uphold his life sentence on July 30. 

6. Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak, a Turkish commentator for opposition newspaper Özgür Düşünce and Can Erzincan TV, was arrested and sentenced in February 2018 to life without parole for trying to overturn the constitution through her journalism. In Turkey, which has been the top jailer of journalists three years in a row, life sentences without parole equate to 30 years in solitary confinement, with limited visits.

7. Marzieh Amiri, an economics reporter at Tehran-based newspaper Shargh Daily, was arrested by Iranian authorities as she covered May Day demonstrations, and her family has had limited contact with her since. Authorities have accused Amiri of committing crimes against national security without giving further details.

8. Jones Abiri, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Weekly Source, was re-arrested on charges under Nigeria’s cybercrimes act, anti-sabotage act, and terrorism prevention act for crimes allegedly carried out in 2016. The charges are the same ones that a court threw out after he was held without access to his family or a lawyer from 2016 to 2018.     

9. Aasif Sultan, a reporter for Kashmir Narrator, was arrested on “anti-state” charges and will have him imprisoned for one year on August 27.  He has been repeatedly interrogated by police, demanding that he reveal his sources.

10. Truong Duy Nhat, a blogger with the U.S. Congress-funded Radio Free Asia (RFA), went missing in January in Bangkok, where he had applied for refugee status. The Vietnamese blogger is currently held without charge in a detention center in Hanoi.

“We are committed to the fight for justice for all freedoms of the press, and the fundamental human rights of journalists globally,” said Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer for Forbes. “The Coalition is dedicated in its mission to bring attention and continued public interest to these cases, until we see them resolved.”

The One Free Press Coalition contains 36 prominent international members including: AméricaEconomía; The Associated Press; Bloomberg News; The Boston Globe; BuzzFeed; CNN Money Switzerland; Corriere Della Sera; De Standaard; Deutsche Welle; Estadão; EURACTIV; The Financial Times; Forbes; Fortune; HuffPost; India Today; Insider Inc.; Le Temps; Middle East Broadcasting Networks; NHK; Office of Cuba Broadcasting; Quartz; Radio Free Asia; Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty; Republik; Reuters; The Straits Times; Süddeutsche Zeitung; TIME; TV Azteca; Voice of America; The Washington Post; WIRED; and Yahoo News.

One Free Press Coalition partners with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) to identify the most-urgent cases for the list, which is updated and published on the first day of every month.

The mission of the Coalition is to use the collective voices of its members – which reach more than 1 billion people worldwide – to “stand up for journalists under attack for pursuing the truth.” News organizations throughout the world can join the Coalition by emailing info@onefreepresscoalition.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 participating news organizations and supporting partners, please visit https://www.onefreepresscoalition.com or @OneFreePress on Twitter.

Contacts:

One Free Press Coalition PR: pr@onefreepresscoalition.com
Committee to Protect Journalists: Bebe Santa-Wood, press@cpj.com
International Women’s Media Foundation: Charlotte Fox, cfox@iwmf.org

Katherine Love