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Middle East & North Africa

2010

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Nazar Ahari
New York, September 21, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by Iran's continued persecution of independent journalists. Reporters Shiva Nazar Ahari and Emadeddin Baghi have each been sentenced to six years in prison, while authorities are said to be considering the death penalty for blogger Hossein Derakhshan, according to news reports.
New York, September 15, 2010--The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) today released the result of a five-month-long investigation into the death of Sardasht Osman, a freelance journalist who was shot to death in May. The Committee to Protect Journalists is dismayed by the deficient inquiry and calls on Kurdish authorities to conduct a thorough and credible investigation into Osman's death.  
Today we will report another murder of a journalist. This one was in Argentina. The last one we documented was a couple days ago--Alberto Graves Chakussanga was shot in the back in Angola. These tragedies are part of our daily work at CPJ, but this week was different. There have been eight killings of journalists around the globe since September 3, an unusually high number during my three years as an editor here.
More than three years after Dink was slain, people are keeping vigil in hopes for justice. (Reuters)

Turkish journalists are hoping a ruling next week by the European Court of Human Rights will bring justice for slain editor Hrant Dink at least one step closer. Prosecutors have dragged their feet in this case, which goes to the heart of the debate over Turkish identity. 

New York, September 8, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Iraqi authorities to thoroughly investigate the murder of Safa al-Din Abdel Hamid, an Al-Mosuliya television presenter who was shot this morning in front of his Mosul home by gunmen firing from a speeding car, according to news accounts.

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.

A clip of Riad al-Saray, an Al-Iraqiya anchor murdered in Baghdad. (AFP/Sabah Arar)

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?

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.

2010

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