United States Agency for Global Media

Threats to Press

2016 Threats to Press

RFE/RL targeted with a disinformation campaign

RFE/RL's Macedonian service has been targeted with a disinformation campaign by pro-government media and senior officials, led by former prime minister Nikola Gruevski. Close allies of Gruevski used social media to falsely claim that the Macedonian Service was publishing “sponsored’ stories against Gruevski, while pro-government media outlets amplified the campaign, accusing RFE/RL of being a "CIA mouthpiece."

RFE/RL contributor Khudayberdy Allashov arrested in Turkmenistan

Turkmen authorities arrested journalist Khudayberdy Allashov, a freelance contributor to the Turkmen Service, and his mother on charges of possessing chewing tobacco.

VOA Kurdish reporter arrested in southeastern Turkey

While she was speaking to the relatives of victims of a mining accident she had previously covered, Hatice Kamer was arrested on the suspicion of "propagandizing against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan."

Beating of RFA Vietnamese contractor

A contractor in Vietnam with Radio Free Asia’s Vietnamese Service was beaten by police who also confiscated the contractor’s equipment, including his mobile phone and camera.

Tajikistan Foreign Ministry revokes accreditations of RFE/RL journalists

The government blocked media accreditation of six Dushanbe-based correspondents over a report about the appointment of the Tajik president’s daughter to a government post.

Soltan Achilova assaulted for second time in weeks

The RFE/RL Turkmen correspondent was assaulted while in a rehabilitation facility northeast of Ashgabat.

Rovshen Yazmuhamedov intimidated by government officials

Turkmenistan officials threatened to jail Radio Free Europe’s Turkmen service correspondent Rovshen Yazmuhamedov by revoking a suspended sentence he received in 2013.

Kazakh Service reporter intimidated by local police

Kazakh Service reporter Dilara Issa was visited by a police officer who claimed that he wanted “to be sure that everything was okay with her.”

Attack on Soltan Achilova of RFE/RL’s Turkmen service

Soltan Achilova was attacked and had her camera snatched away after she was released by police.

RFE/RL contributor Yulia Suntsova detained by Russia’s FSB

A freelancer for the Tatar-Bashkir Service, Suntsova, was invited for a “talk” with a local FSB officer and was questioned about her publications on the Idel.Realii website.

RFE/RL video journalist wounded in Mosul

Radio Farda freelancer, Rasool Mahmood, was seriously injured on October 20 while reporting from the front lines of the Iraqi Army’s campaign to drive IS out of the city of Mosul.

Independent journalists harassed while trying to report chaos in Baracoa

Two journalists had been investigating for a week about the disasters caused by Hurricane Matthew.

Iraqi local officials threaten MBN journalist

An MBN journalist reporting on the theft of military good from an airport in Iraq received a threat of a lawsuit by local political party officials for his coverage of the topic.

Houthi rebels detain MBN journalist

An MBN journalist was detained and questioned by the local police and a Houthi rebel local commander in relation to an interview the journalist conducted on education in Yemen.

Journalists detained in Russia in polling station

Two journalists with RFE/RL’s Idel.Realii project were detained in a polling station in Kazan, Russia for more than an hour and a half, as they were reporting on alleged voting irregularities.

Two RFE/RL freelance journalists detained during protest in Azerbaijan.

Several journalists were detained after police intervened during a rally protesting a referendum that would give Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyav greater powers and a longer term in office.

Death threat against RFA journalist posted to social media

A Facebook user posted the following message: "Chun Chanboth ... shall be dead by 2018. You can wait and see my words are true or not." Chanboth is RFA's Cambodian Service Deputy Director.

Baku-based video reporter detained

RFE/RL freelancer Islam Shikhali was detained briefly by plainclothes police in front of Baku’s Court of Appeals while he was reporting on the arrest of an activist with the Azerbaijani youth group N!DA.

Brother of Uzbek journalist sentenced

A court sentenced the brother of Acting Turkmen Service Director Farruh Yusupov to 8 years in prison on drug-related charges; No evidence was brought against Yusupov.

Radio Azatutyun journalists attacked in Armenia

Three Armenian Service journalists were attacked and beaten by those who appeared to be police officers. The journalists were covering clashes between riot police and protesters marching in support of armed gunmen who have occupied a police compound in Yerevan.

TV Martí citizen journalists violently arrested

Cuban authorities violently arrested several citizen journalists and confiscated their recording equipment along with DVDs containing Television Martí programming.

Journalists of popular Radio Svoboda program targets of harassment

Ukrainian Service investigative journalists have been targeted by a social media intimidation campaign, which has threatened bodily harm and accused female journalists of being prostitutes.

RFA blogger sentenced to four year prison term

Originally arrested in 2014, Nguyễn Ngọc Già was sentenced by the Ho Chi Minh City’s people’s court to a four-year prison term with another three years on probation for carrying out “propaganda against the state.”

Crimea.Realities website threatened with closure

The Moscow-backed Crimean Prosecutor General's Office claimed that RFE/RL's "Krym.Realii" (Crimea.Realities) seeks to discredit the Russian Federation, incites interethnic hatred and promotes extremism.

Independent journalists targeted in Crimea, including RFE/RL contributors

RFL/RL contributor Mykola Semena was alleged of engaging in "extremism" and agitating "violations of Russia's territorial integrity" on the basis of his journalistic work.

RFA Tibetan reporters harassed By Chinese nationalists in Washington, DC

While covering Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the nuclear security summit in Washington, a reporter from RFA's Tibetan Service was met by a mob of demonstrators using Chinese flags to obstruct her broadcast.

Yuri Valle Roca is released after being accused of “attack”

The dissident journalist Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca was arrested and charged with an attack, shortly before President Barack Obama arrived on the island.

Multiple RFE/RL journalists detained during protests

Nine Kazakh Service reporters in the cities of Oral, Astana, Almaty, Atyrau, and Shymkent were detained on May 21, while trying to report on mass protests opposing a land reform proposal.

Russian media outlets malign RFE/RL

Russian media outlets sought out RFE/RL's Moscow bureau administrator at her home, asking questions about her personal finances and property.

Radio Ozodi bureau chief confronted by Tajik officials

RFE/RL’s Dushanbe Bureau chief was told by government officials that Radio Ozodi is not objective and that it offers a platform to parties and groups that are banned in Tajikistan and labeled as ‘terrorist.'

RFE/RL journalist detained by Kyrgyz officials

A Tajik Service correspondent was detained and held for 8 hours by Kyrgyz border guards in a disputed area between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Khadija Ismayilova marks 14 months behind bars

On February 5, 2015 RFE/RL contributor Khadija Ismayilova marked 14 months behind bars in an Azeri prison, despite widespread condemnation of her case and high-profile demands for her release.

Khadija Ismayilova’s sentence extended

A court in Azerbaijan prolonged Ismayilova's detention by two months; She was arrested on politically motivated charges on December 5.

Almigdad Mojalli killed

Mojalli was in rebel-held Sana'a when he was killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike; He had been reporting on the human impact of the war and the economic crisis in Yemen

Crimea.Realities journalist detained

A journalist with the Ukrainian Service’s Krym.Realii program was detained outside the Crimean Supreme Court as he sought to cover a trial of Crimean Tatar activists.