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Middle East & North Africa

2010

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An Afghan MP is accusing President Hamid Karzai, left, of shutting down his TV station under pressure from Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is at right. (AP/Hasan Sarbakhshian)

New York, July 29, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Afghan government to allow privately owned Emroaz TV back on the air, after its owner said it was shut down under pressure from Iran. According to local and international media reports, the station went dark on Tuesday almost immediately after the station's owner, Member of Parliament Najib Kabuli, protested on-air the government’s order to shut the station down. In his address, Kabuli said the Ministry of Information had made a “one-sided decision” under Iran’s influence to silence Emroaz.

American hikers Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd wait to see their mothers at a hotel in Tehran, in May. (AP/Press TV)On July 30, three American hikers in Iran will have endured an entire year in custody, held without charge or a modicum of due process. This is obviously a terrible injustice, so much so that it surprises me when I mention their situation to skeptical friends or colleagues who believe that the three were foolish to hike along the Iranian border and should have anticipated the consequences.
Iraqi soldiers outside Al-Arabiya's office in central Baghdad after a suicide bombing today. (Ali Al-Saadi/AFP)New York, July 26, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a suicide attack on Al-Arabiya's  bureau in Baghdad. The attack killed three of the satellite news channel's support staff, according to Tareq Maher, an Al-Arabiya journalist who was inside the building during the blast.

Using https to secure the Web for journalism

From today, you now have an alternative web address to visit the CPJ website. As well as our usual http://cpj.org/ address, you can visit our site securely at https://cpj.org/. We've turned on this feature to help protect our readers who are at risk of surveillance and censorship, and as part of a wider advocacy mission to encourage social networking and media sites to do the same.

New York, July 22, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists has learned that Iran is continuing to arrest journalists, with two more detained in June. CPJ calls on the authorities to release all imprisoned journalists, and to allow reporters to conduct their work unimpeded.
A hospitalized Boukadous. (CPJ)

Tunisian police arrested Fahem Boukadous, a widely respected critical journalist, on July 15. Before his arrest, Boukadous wrote an open letter from the hospital, where he was being treated for acute asthma. On the evening he was taken to Gafsa prison, his wife, Afaf Bennacer, wrote an article about what happened that has been circulated on multiple Arabic websites. Below is CPJ's translation:

The Moroccan government has stipulated that all TV networks, “whether Arab or foreign," now require authorization to do TV reporting outside the capital. (Reuters)While high-ranking Arab officials are not held accountable for misinforming or misleading the public, critical journalists in their respective countries are increasingly dragged into courts and handed harsh jail sentences following unfair trials for “spreading false news.”
Two bills that would support the media have stalled in the Iraqi parliament, seen here on June 14, during its first session with new members. (AP/Hadi Mizban)New York, July 20, 2010The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Court to disclose details about the decision to establish a new press court and to explain the mechanisms under which it will operate.

Al-MawkifNew York, July 19, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the apparent censorship of Al-Mawkif, an opposition weekly belonging to the Progressive Democratic Party in Tunisia. Rachid Khechana, left, Al-Mawkif editor-in-chief, told CPJ that 10,000 copies of the newspaper’s Friday edition disappeared from newsstands, apparently confiscated by security agents.

Bullet holes, bottom right, at the entrance to the Yemeni newspaper Al-Ayyam are a reminder of a government siege of the outlet. (CPJ)

One opinion was relayed to me repeatedly by numerous journalists, lawyers, and human rights defenders during the week I just spent in Yemen: The crackdown against independent and opposition media in the country has not been this concerted at any time since the unification of the southern and northern halves of the country in 1990.

2010

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