Stories written by Jonathan Rozen
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Botswana Police use Israeli Cellebrite Tech to Search Another Journalist’s Phone

Tsaone Basimanebotlhe was not expecting security agents to appear at her home in a village outside Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, in July 2019, she told CPJ in a recent interview. But they didn’t come to arrest or charge her, she recalled – they came for her devices, hunting for the source for an article published by her employer, Mmegi newspaper.

Equipped by US & Israeli Firms, Police in Botswana Search Phones for Sources

Oratile Dikologang was naked when police officers pulled black plastic over his head during his detention in April 2020. It was difficult to breathe, but the interrogation continued, he told CPJ in a recent phone interview.

Spyware Threatens Press Freedom’s Privacy Imperative

Spyware’s repeated use to target journalists and those close to them poses an existential threat to the privacy required for press freedom to flourish. Without the ability to privately communicate with sources, conduct research, and compile information, journalists are hampered in their ability to keep the public informed and hold the powerful to account.

US, UK, Interpol Give Ghana Phone Hacking Tools, Raising Journalist Concerns on Safety & Confidentiality

In May 2019, senior members of Ghana’s law enforcement posed for photos with the U.S. ambassador to their country at a ceremony in the capital, Accra. Between them they held boxes and bags, gifts from the U.S. government to Ghana which, according to one of the recipients, contained Israeli phone hacking technology.

How Nigeria’s Police used Telecom Surveillance to Lure & Arrest Journalists

As reporters for Nigeria’s Premium Times newspaper, Samuel Ogundipe and Azeezat Adedigba told CPJ they spoke often over the phone. They had no idea that their regular conversations about work and their personal lives were creating a record of their friendship.

Nigerian Military Targeted Journalists’ Phones, Computers with “forensic search” for Sources

Hamza Idris, an editor with the Nigerian Daily Trust, was at the newspaper’s central office on January 6 when the military arrived looking for him.

‘You Cannot Muzzle the Media’: Nigerian Journalists on Press Freedom under Buhari

When Nigeria's incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari won re-election this year, he campaigned (as he did in 2015) on an image of good governance and anti-corruption. Billboards in the capital, Abuja, bore the smiling faces of the president--who first led Nigeria as military ruler from 1983-1985--and his vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, and called for voters to let them "continue" their work and take the country to the "Next Level."

Ghana Won’t Have Press Freedom Without Accountability

Three bullets, fired at close range by two assassins on a black and blue Boxer motorbike on January 16, 2019, killed investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale Divela, according to Sammy Darko, a lawyer working on Divela's case.

African Governments Mark World Press Freedom Day with Crackdown Against Online Journalism

When Uganda in April ordered Internet service providers to shut down all news sites that had not been authorized by the communications regulator (pdf), it was the latest attempt by President Yoweri Museveni’s government to constrict the space for independent media.

As Peace Talks Resume, South Sudan Continues Assault on Press Freedom

A ceasefire agreement signed on December 21 between the South Sudanese government and opposition forces has revived a 2015 peace process and brought hope that the conflict will not persist into its fifth year.

Why Release of Two Journalists in Ethiopia Does not Signal End to Press Crackdown

On January 10, radio journalists Darsema Sori and Khalid Mohammed were released from prison after serving lengthy sentences related to their work at the Ethiopian faith-based station Radio Bilal. Despite their release and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's promise earlier this month to free political prisoners, Ethiopia's use of imprisonment, harassment, and surveillance means that the country continues to be a hostile environment for journalists.

Internet Shutdowns in Africa Stifling Press Freedom

The internet for journalism is now like the air you breathe,” said Befeqadu Hailu, an Ethiopian journalist and a member of the Zone 9 blogger collective who was arrested in April 2014 and charged with terrorism. “Without the internet, modern journalism means nothing.” Yet, the internet is something that journalists in multiple African countries are often forced to do without.

The UN’s Blind Spot for Conflict Prevention

As the world struggles to respond to conflicts and the people fleeing them, UN insiders are also struggling to advance a ‘shift in mindset’ to help prevent these crises from happening in the first place.

Uncertainty Mars Potential for Peace in South Sudan

Nearly one month after UN Security Council members visited troubled South Sudan, disagreement reigns over even the limited outside measures proposed to try to bring the security situation in the world's newest country under control.

Analysis: Why the UN Needs a “Peace Industrial Complex”

In a world where annual defence spending is over 1.6 trillion dollars and the UN Peacebuilding Fund receives less than 700 million dollars, it would seem that the military industrial complex is unwaveringly entrenched.

Mongolia’s Poorest Turn Garbage into Gold

Ulziikhutag Jigjid, 49, is a member of a 10-person group in the Khan-Uul district on the outskirts of Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar, which is producing brooms, chairs, containers, and other handmade products from discarded soda and juice containers.

Divisions over Gender Complicate Development Agenda

As the U.N. focuses on refining its Post-2015 Development Agenda, divisions surrounding issues of population and development continue to plague consensus on a universal way forward.

Finding the Needle in the Post-2015 Haystack

How will the U.N. prioritise the goals of its Post-2015 Development Agenda? Which goals deserve more funding? And which goals will help the most people? These are the questions that the Copenhagen Consensus Centre (CCC) seeks to answer.

Torture, Starvation & Deaths Captured Digitally Inside Syria

It plays like a Hollywood movie. A former member of the Syrian military police, later codenamed “Caesar”, smuggles digital memory sticks containing photographs of corpses displaying signs of severe torture and starvation -- in his shoe. That was between September 2011 and August 2013. But now comes the question of accountability.

African Nations Need Industrialisation and Economic Transformation

Youth represent 40 percent of the African continent’s population. This number is expected to rise over the next 20 years and represents the population bearing the brunt of African economies’ failure to create sufficient jobs and address poor economic management.

U.N. Buzzes Over Vector Borne Diseases

In many countries across the world, the bite of a small insect can mean death. These vector borne diseases, the theme for the annual World Health Day (WHD) 2014, are deeply intertwined with many other developmental issues.

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