New York, September 7, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Bahraini authorities to release Ali Abdel Imam, a leading online journalist who was arrested Saturday on charges of spreading "false information." The arrest is the latest in the government's ongoing crackdown on dissent.
New York, September 7, 2010--Riad al-Saray, an anchorman for Al-Iraqiya television, was killed this morning when a group of unidentified gunmen opened fire on his car in western Baghdad, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Iraqi authorities to thoroughly investigate the murder and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Another piece on RIM by the Guardian, this time reporting that the UAE were after BlackBerry messaging info, because of its use in spreading gossip about high-profile Emiratis. These quotes (translated here) from Dubai's police chief, Lt.-Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, where he says the ban was also "meant to control false rumors and defamation of public figures due to absence of surveillance", tend to confirm that.
Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Oman has banned Virtual Private Networks (commonly used to give correspondents access to the company network back home). Not surprising, given that Oman supposedly already bans the use of encryption. Will it go after the banks next?
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.
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