Image:Police at a court in Kigali, Rwanda, on September 14, 2020. Three YouTube-based Iwacu TV journalists detained since October 2018, were acquitted in Kigali and released on October 5, 2022. (Reuters/Jean Bizimana)
Your support this year helped sustain CPJ’s work and mission at a time when journalists across the globe face threats while doing their jobs. Thank you for being a friend and partner throughout 2022 in defending our right to be informed. For this edition of Insider, we’re including just a few of the highlights from this year that were possible because of your support.
CPJ helped free at least 130 journalists in 2022
This year, CPJ advocacy contributed to the early release of at least 130 detained journalists, including dozens in Africa and dozens more in the Middle East and North Africa.
CPJ’s annual census of jailed journalists found that, as of December 1, 2022, there were 363 journalists behind bars, the highest number since CPJ began documenting this data 30 years ago. Amid a mass uprising following the death of a woman in morality-police custody, Iran topped CPJ’s list with at least 62 journalists imprisoned there—more than a third of them women.
“We have journalists [in Iran] who are bearing witness, who are exposing [the protests], and who are critical in making sure there are records of the event,” CPJ Program Director Carlos Martínez de la Serna told U.S. Congress-funded broadcaster Voice of America.
CPJ’s research and advocacy teams work to win the release of imprisoned journalists across the world, documenting detentions, reporting press freedom violations, and speaking with local authorities, family members, and high-level government officials. You and your support allow us to continue fighting on their behalf.
We helped win convictions in the murders of at least 12 journalists
CPJ has documented the killing of at least 65 journalists and media workers in 2022, making this year a particularly dangerous one for those trying to bring us the news. Of those, 40 were killed in relation to their work, and CPJ is investigating the circumstances of an additional 25 to determine whether they were work-related.
Those numbers are why we fight for justice in the murders of journalists worldwide. It’s a fight that can take years, but it is always worth it.
In October 2022, five years after leading investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in a bomb attack in Malta, a court in the capital of Valletta sentenced brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio to 40 years each for their role as hitmen in her murder. Further legal proceedings are pending against the alleged mastermind, Yorgen Fenech, and two men who allegedly supplied the bomb. Years of advocacy by CPJ and its partners has helped bring justice for her murder.
CPJ advocacy helped win convictions in the murders of at least 12 journalists this year.
We helped protect threatened journalists
As Russian troops amassed along the border of Ukraine, CPJ worked to disburse crucial safety advice for journalists covering the conflict. Almost as soon as the war began, attacks on journalists made clear a need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and first aid supplies.
CPJ set up a temporary “hub” in Berlin and traveled to Georgia, Norway, and Poland to understand the threats journalists were facing—whether they were moving into Ukraine to cover the war, fleeing Ukraine and neighboring countries, or confronting the collapse of independent media in Russia.
CPJ also partnered with medical supplies company Medtrade and Ukrainian news outlet Zaborona, to distribute hundreds of first aid kits and gauze that stops bleeding in 60 seconds.
Your support in 2022 was vital to protecting journalist’s safety in Ukraine and beyond. CPJ provided financial and non-financial assistance to more than 520 journalists in 49 countries, with grants to journalists who needed support for emergency relocation, imprisonment, medical issues, and trauma.
Reflecting on three months of protests and “a women-led revolution” in Iran, Yeganeh Rezaian, a senior researcher at CPJ, writes: “Some journalists, like my friend Yalda Moaiery, are kept in solitary confinement, in conditions I know only too well from my own experience … The cells are tiny, there is no furniture, only a thin blanket for sleeping, the lights are turned on 24 hours a day, and there is no company but your own thoughts.”
Beril Eski, a lawyer and journalist, spoke on CPJ’s behalf to Turkey’s longest-serving jailed journalist, Hatice Duman, about her conviction, life in prison, and hope of returning to journalism in an interview. Duman remains at the Bakırköy Women’s Prison in Istanbul. Asked if she wants to practice journalism again, Duman replied, “I would want to practice journalism very much. … I would do things that I have missed the most when I’m out. Unless my family locks me in … I would be me when I get out, as I am here. I cannot stand inequity and injustice.”
CPJ in the news
“Covering Iran’s unrest and crackdown from thousands of miles away,” The Washington Post
“Us Soccer Briefly Scrubs Emblem From Iran Flag At World Cup,” The Associated Press