The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has released a report criticizing pending Ecuadorian electoral reforms that will prohibit the press from covering political campaigns and elections. According to CPJ, the electoral reform will go into effect Saturday, Feb. 4.
Accusations on Twitter and other social networks led the Journalistic Observatory to investigate claims that executives of the official Guatemalan newspaper, Diario de Centro América, forced employees to stay inside the building and took away their cellphones, according to the Guatemalan Center for Investigative Reports.
The 26-year-old Brazilian newspaper Já was forced to close after a court sentenced the publication to pay damages to the mother of the ex-governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Germano Rigotto, reported the newspaper O Expresso on Jan. 26. The newspaper had a circulation of five thousand in the city of Porto Alegre.
The Venezuelan hacker group N33 took over the Twitter accounts of two journalists critical of President Hugo Chávez, reported the weekly magazine Sexto Poder. The group is also responsible for other cyber attacks against opposition members, and is considered a growing threat to freedom of expression in the South American country.
On Jan. 27, a a marathon of hearings started for the Brazilian news website Congresso em Foco following the publication of a series of reports detailing salaries paid to politicians, judges and civil servants above the constitutional limit, the website reported.
Immigration authorities in Panama denied Canadian journalist Rosie Simms entry into the country on Jan. 21. Authorities alleged that her passport was invalid, despite its 2015 expiration date, according to Reporters Without Borders. After holding her for four hours and denying her access to consular services, they forced her to board a plane for the United States, reported the website Newsroom Panama.
A news team for the Venezuelan television broadcaster Globovisión was detained by the country's Bolivarian National Guard as they tried to cover an oil spill in the community of Pararí, in the state of Monagas, reported the International Freedom of Expression Exchange on Jan. 27.
Memphis police briefly detained a photojournalist and erased images he had recorded on his cell phone on Sunday, Jan. 29, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Police are investigating the incident, the group added.
In a bid to "enter countries that may have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression," Twitter announced that it has the ability to begin censoring tweets on a country-by-country basis, the Associated Press (AP) reported Thursday, Jan. 26. The announcement has prompted fears that Twitter's commitment to free expression might be taking a back seat to profitability -- especially in light of the role Twitter played in the Arab spring and protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the United States.
On the 29th anniversary of the killing of eight journalists in the community of Uchuraccay, Peru, the National Association of Journalists of Peru (ANP in Spanish) criticized a bill known as the "Mordaza Law," which they consider a restriction of press freedom in the Andean country.