Criminalizing Reporting

A growing number of governments treat journalists who criticize them as ideological enemies, and reporters are imprisoned for just doing their job. The last few years have seen the highest numbers of journalists in prison than at any time in the past three decades.

TrialWatch has monitored trials in which journalists are prosecuted for their journalistic work—whether through laws that directly target speech or under unrelated laws deployed to silence journalists.

Using a Public Database to Investigate an Attack in Hong Kong

(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

An award-winning Hong Kong journalist – Bao Choy – was convicted just for accessing a public vehicle registration database in a case that sets a dangerous precedent for press freedom in Hong Kong.

TrialWatch—part of the Clooney Foundation for Justice—said the defendant’s appeal of her conviction is a vital test for the judiciary in Hong Kong, as it released its Fairness Report highlighting several violations of Bao Choy’s rights during her one-day trial.

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If left uncorrected, this prosecution will set a dangerous precedent for press freedom in Hong Kong.

TrialWatch's expert in the case

Reporting on Protests in Belarus

Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Daria Chultsova, two young journalists working for an independent media outlet, were convicted of ‘organizing group actions that grossly violated public order’ and given two-year prison sentences simply for live coverage of a protest.  The TrialWatch report on their case, co-authored by Professor Van Schaack and staff at the ABA Center for Human Rights, finds that their conviction flouted the presumption of innocence.

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The prosecution’s proffered evidence was inconsistent, contradictory, and wholly insufficient to meet the essential elements of the charged offenses or sustain the conviction. TrialWatch Fairness Report

TrialWatch Fairness Report

"National Security" Offenses in Morocco

FILE PHOTO: Journalist and activist Omar Radi waits outside court in Casablanca, Morocco March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal/File Photo

Omar Radi is a Moroccan journalist who has exposed, and is an outspoken critic of, government corruption. In this capacity, he has collaborated with various Moroccan and international media. He was convicted of rape and national security offenses. He has been sentenced to 6 years in prison after being held in pretrial detention for nearly a year. His conviction follows another recent conviction of a journalist on similar charges, who has also been critical of the government.

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The prosecution presented little evidence that Mr. Radi did anything other than journalistic and investigative work. It is hard to see the basis for convicting him of national security offenses. Professor Hannah Garry, TrailWatch Expert in the case

Professor Hannah Garry, TrailWatch Expert in the case

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