CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Rima Marrouch

Rima Marrouch is research associate for CPJ's Middle East and North Africa Program. She is a former U.N. reporter for the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.

Blog   |   Lebanon

In Lebanon, Gebran Tueni's daughter seeks the truth

Tueni (AP)On a rainy Sunday in downtown Beirut, in St. George Cathedral at Place d'Etoile, the family of murdered Lebanese journalist Gebran Tueni gathered with the staff of his newspaper, Al-Nahar, to hold a memorial marking the fifth anniversary of Tueni's assassination. The memorial was held in the same church where Tueni was married in 2001, and where his funeral was held in 2005, as if to complete the circle of life and memory.

December 14, 2010 11:01 AM ET

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Blog   |   Lebanon

Lebanon tries to modernize its chaotic media laws

Current Lebanese media laws exist in the perfect state of chaos. For example, a print journalist who is a member of the Journalists' Syndicate, according to the Publication Law, is protected from administrative arrest for an opinion piece or an article he writes. However, if the same journalist broadcasts the very same opinion and some find it defamatory, according to the penal code, he can end up in jail. Provisions concerning media and journalists are scattered among numerous pieces of legislation like the penal code, the Publications Law, the Audiovisual Media Law, and the Military Justice Code.

December 13, 2010 10:56 AM ET

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Blog   |   Jordan

After outcry, Jordan rolls back repressive measures

CPJ had urged King Abdullah II to reconsider online restrictions. (Reuters/Ali Jarekji)

Jordanian journalists succeeded this week in turning back some of the most repressive aspects of a new law on cyber crimes. The initial version of the law, approved by the cabinet of ministers on August 3, included broad restrictions on material deemed by the state to be defamatory or to involve national security. It also allowed law enforcement officials to conduct warrantless searches of online outlets. Facing domestic protests and international pressure from CPJ and others, the cabinet revised the measure on Sunday.

September 3, 2010 11:06 AM ET

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Blog   |   Iran

Jailed Iranian journalist Goudarzi receives NPC award

Goudarzi (CHRR)

The National Press Club has announced the recipients of the 2010 John Aubuchon Freedom of the Press Award, which is given each year to individuals who have contributed to the cause of press freedom and open government. This year, the international recipient is Iranian blogger Kouhyar Goudarzi, who is being held in Tehran's Evin Prison--notorious for its torture of detainees. CPJ wrote earlier this month about a hunger strike in Evin in which several political prisoners, including at least five journalists, protested their inhumane treatment. Goudarzi was one of the protesters. Arrested in December 2009, Goudzari, a former editor of Committee of Human Rights Reporters, has been charged with heresy, propagating against the regime, and participating in illegal gatherings.

Blog   |   Morocco

Morocco pardons journalist to create smokescreen

Driss Chahtan holds his daughter while being taken to prison. He was released a day before his wife had their second child. (Abdelwahid Mahir)

On Friday evening, after receiving an unexpected royal pardon, Driss Chahtan, the editor of the independent weekly Al-Michaal, was released from Oukacha Prison in Casablanca. However, his release is one of the few positive developments amid many alarming cases of worsening press conditions in Morocco.

June 16, 2010 10:15 AM ET

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Blog   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Jordan, Pakistan

Journalists on raided flotilla leaving Israel, speaking out

Firsthand accounts from reporters who were on the flotilla of humanitarian activists raided by Israeli forces on Monday are finally coming out as the journalists are released from custody. These early reports indicate that soldiers harassed international journalists—at least six had their equipment either confiscated or destroyed, according to CPJ interviews and news reports. Media accounts have indicated that 60 journalists or more were aboard the ships; on Tuesday, CPJ independently verified the names and affiliations of 20 journalists who had been taken into custody.

June 2, 2010 6:23 PM ET

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