One free press coalition spotlight of journalists under attack – March 2021

In May 2019, WIRED has joined the One Free Press Coalition, a united group of leading editors and publishers who reach out to their global reach and use social platforms to put journalists worldwide under attack. The coalition today released its 25th monthly list of ’10 most urgent ‘journalists whose press freedom is suppressed or whose affairs demand justice. This iteration focuses on women in anticipation of the International Women’s Day which took place on 8 March.

In an industry that has long been dominated by men, more and more female journalists around the world are telling important stories and reporting the news to their communities. These brave journalists face a unique set of challenges and threats. According to more than 70 percent, they experienced more than one type of harassment, threat or attack. 2018 report published by the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) and the online threat monitor Trollbusters. Given the social stigmas associated with gender-based violence, many women may choose not to report incidents or leave the profession.

Six of the women on the list this month are behind bars and 13 percent of all journalists locked up in 2020 were women. One of the journalists on the list was killed this month in connection with her reporting, and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has documented 70 female journalists killed since 1992. At least one of the issues on this list has been related to online harassment, a endemic to the industry. As far as the benchmark is concerned, the journalists on this list cover a wide range of issues and stories, but according to CPJ research, politics remains one of the most dangerous for journalists worldwide.

1. Tal al-Mallohi (Syria)
Syrian journalist, who is currently being held free of charge, has spent a total of more than ten years behind bars. She is being held on the orders of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, a security adviser.

2. Solafa Magdy (Egypt)
In prison are freelance journalists who are deteriorating rapidly health conditions, medical neglect and abuse in custody.

3. Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova (Belarus)
Independent journalist and camera operator were each sentenced to two years in prison for covering protests against the government.

4. Maria Elena Ferral Hernández (Mexico)
On March 30, it is one year since two unknown men shot dead at a motorcycle newspaper correspondent after previous threats.

5. Pham Doan Trang (Vietnam)
Web reporter and magazine founder, who has been in custody before the trial since October, is awaiting trial on anti-state charges after facing years of threats.

6. Frenchie Mae Cumpio (Philippines)
Web journalist and radio anchor, covering alleged police and military abuse, has been detained for one year and could face up to 6-12 years in prison.

7. Anastasia Mejía (Guatemala)
Indigenous journalist was arrested for broadcasting – and accused of taking part in a protest against a local official. On the same day, her house was raided, and she was detained for more than a month.

8. Ayşegül Doğan (Turkey)
The Turkish journalist is currently free, pending appeal, but faces more than six years in prison for false terror charges.

9. Neha Dixit (In the)
Freelance reporter recently endured an attempted burglary, stalking and months of threatening calls that included death threats and references to her journalism, as well as an ongoing case of libel.

10. Haze Fan (China)
Bloomberg News’ staff member in Beijing has been detained for endangering national security.

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