Diaspora journalists increasingly targeted by home countries: report

By AFP
December 07, 2023

WASHINGTON: Authoritarian states are increasingly targeting journalists working in exile as part of government reprisal campaigns against dissidents living outside their countries, US-based rights group Freedom House said in a new report on Wednesday.

The uptick in so-called “transnational repression,” which can target all kinds of citizens living abroad, comes just a week after an Indian national was charged by US authorities with plotting to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader in New York, allegedly at the direction of an Indian government official.

Pakistani journalists and civil society activists hold placards against the attack on a senior journalist of a local newspaper in Karachi. — AFP/File

“As attacks on free and independent media increase globally, more and more journalists are being forced to work from exile, and are increasingly facing the threat of transnational repression in their new homes abroad,” the Freedom House report said.

Tactics used include “physical harm, detention and rendition, online harassment... reprisals against family members” and smear campaigns, among other efforts “that degrade their morale and commitment to the profession.”

“Some, like Jamal Khashoggi, have been assassinated,” the report said, in reference to the Saudi Washington Post columnist whose 2018 killing in his country´s consulate in Istanbul shocked the world.