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Free Press Coalition Identifies 10 Most Threatened Journalists

Azory Gwanda before he disappeared (Mwananchi Publications Limited)
Azory Gwanda before he disappeared (Mwananchi Publications Limited)

The One Free Press Coalition has released its August list of the “10 Most Urgent” journalists working under threat or duress.

Some of the names on the list are relatively well known. For example, at #1 and #2 are Jamal Khashoggi of Saudia Arabia and Azory Gwanda of Tanzania. Khashoggi, who had been writing for the Washington Post while living in the west, made international headlines when it was eventually revealed that Saudi officials were laying in wait when Khashoggi visited the Saudi embassy in Turkey and murdered him.

The Coalition says of Khashoggi that Saudi officials continue to “stonewall” any investigation into his grisly killing even after a UN report implicated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the plot. “Calls for the White House to release intelligence reports have gone unheeded, along with a deadline to reply to Congress as required under the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act,” the Coalition writes.

Gwanda is a Tanzanian investigative journalist who disappeared in November 2017, and hasn’t been heard from since. The Coalition notes the Tanzanian government has launched no investigations, and earlier this year the Foreign Minister said Gwanda had “disappeared and died”, only later to walk back his comments.

The list is updated each month, reflecting new and growing threats against journalists worldwide. 36 international journalistic entities are part of the coalition, including the Voice of America.

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    Doug Bernard

    Doug Bernard covers cyber-issues for VOA, focusing on Internet privacy, security and censorship circumvention. Previously he edited VOA’s “Digital Frontiers” blog, produced the “Daily Download” webcast and hosted “Talk to America”, for which he won the International Presenter of the Year award from the Association for International Broadcasting. He began his career at Michigan Public Radio, and has contributed to "The New York Times," the "Christian Science Monitor," SPIN and NPR, among others. You can follow him @dfrontiers.