Committee to Protect Journalists Impact — CPJ on WikiLeaks
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) –
News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, September 2011
Journalist ID’d in WikiLeaks cable, flees Ethiopia
U.S. diplomatic cables disclosed last month by WikiLeaks cited Ethiopian journalist Argaw Ashine by name and referred to his unnamed government source, forcing Ashine to flee the country after police interrogated him over the source’s identity. It is the first instance CPJ has confirmed in which a citation in one of the cables has caused direct repercussions for a journalist.
After learning about Ashine’s forced exile, CPJ’s Africa
and Journalist Assistance programs collaborated to assist him. Once at a safe location, Ashine worked with CPJ to tell the world about his abrupt exile. The story generated international attention, along with a critical reply from WikiLeaks. CPJ has defended WikiLeaks in the past when it faced potential prosecution under espionage laws, but we have overriding interest in protecting the safety
of journalists. CPJ is now reviewing the more than 200,000 cables recently disclosed by WikiLeaks–most of which were unredacted–to determine whether any other journalists are cited.
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