The number of killings of reporters has rapidly spiked in recent years. In addition to physical attacks, criminal prosecutions and detention are a key tool in the authorities’ arsenal.

Journalists are targeted with charges like defamation, incitement, sedition, dissemination of fake news, endangering national security, and violation of cybercrime laws.

Meanwhile, with technology accelerating and the tools for reporting increasingly accessible, a cadre of citizen journalists have stepped forward to blog, host discussions on social media channels, and live tweet from protests. As their ranks have grown along with their influence, they too have been unjustly prosecuted and detained. TrialWatch has monitored over 50 cases against journalists who have been targeted because of their reporting, covering crackdowns on press freedom in countries ranging from Belarus to India to Hong Kong to Morocco. Using our findings from monitoring, we have undertaken litigation and advocacy to stop sham prosecutions, secure the release of numerous individuals, and fight for the repeal of laws that threaten press freedom.

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