Middle East & North Africa

2011

Letters   |   Oman

CPJ concerned by politicized trial in Oman

Your Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Sa'id: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to bring to your attention reports of an unfair trial of two Omani journalists and a civil servant sentenced to imprisonment on defamation charges. We ask you, in your capacity as head of the Supreme Judicial Council, to instruct the judicial authorities to respect the letter of the law and allow the defendants an opportunity to prove their innocence. This case will be appealed on October 15, and we hope the verdict against the newspaper and the three men will be reversed. We are also alarmed by the October 9 royal decree that amends an article in the Press and Publications Law, further tightening government control over the media, and urge you to consider the negative effect the amendment will have on independent media in Oman.

Statements   |   Yemen

Nobel Peace Prize for Yemeni press freedom activist

New York, October 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is delighted that the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to renowned Yemeni press freedom activist Tawakul Karman, Chairwoman of Women Journalists Without Chains, along with two other female leaders.

Alerts   |   Jordan

Jordan's anti-corruption bill would restrict press

New York, September 30, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is disheartened by the passage in Jordan's lower chamber of Parliament of a draft anti-corruption law which would allow heavy fines for publishing information on corruption, and calls on the upper chamber to reject the bill. 

September 30, 2011 2:39 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Egypt

Egyptian police raid Al-Jazeera offices again

New York, September 29, 2011--Egyptian plainclothes police stormed the office of an Al-Jazeera affiliate today for the second time this month, detaining a journalist. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the raid and calls on the authorities to end what has become a policy of censorship and intimidation of the media.

September 29, 2011 2:29 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Internet, Kazakhstan, Syria

When a bug fix can save a journalist's life

One of the most exciting aspects of working on Internet technologies is how quickly the tools you build can spread to millions of users worldwide. It's a heady experience, one that has occurred time and again here in Silicon Valley. But there's also responsibility that attaches to that excitement. For every hundred thousand cases in which a tool improves someone's day, there is another case in which it's used in a life-or-death situation. And for online journalists working on high-risk material, or in high-risk places, that life may be their own or that of a source. That's why CPJ, together with Alexey Tikhonov from Kazakhstan's Respublika, Esra'a al-Shafei from the pan-Arab forum MidEast Youth, and activist Rami Nakhle from Syria, spent this week visiting and meeting with technologists, entrepreneurs, and thinkers in Silicon Valley.

Alerts   |   Bahrain

Bahrain upholds lengthy prison terms for journalists

Abduljalil Alsingace, center, stands with his family after being released from prison in February. (AP)

New York, September 28, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's decision by the appeals chamber of Bahrain's Court of National Safety to uphold lengthy prison terms for 21 individuals, including two online journalists and a prominent human rights defender. In separate press freedom violations, authorities prevented a newspaper from covering Saturday's parliamentary by-election, and an independent journalist has faced persistent harassment.

Alerts   |   Egypt

Egypt must stop censoring newspapers

New York, September 27, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the censorship of two newspapers in the past four days, the first instances of their kind since the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak in February. Production of the Saturday edition of the independent weekly Sawt al-Umma was halted, while the daily Rose al-Youssef was prevented from printing a page in today's paper that was to feature a controversial story.

September 27, 2011 5:14 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Yemen

Sniper fire claims life of Yemeni cameraman

New York, September 26, 2011--A Yemeni cameraman died in a Sana'a hospital on Saturday, five days after being struck by sniper fire while covering an anti-government protest in the capital, according to local and international news reports. Hassan al-Wadhaf, who filmed his own shooting, is the second journalist to be killed in Yemen since demonstrations began in February.

September 26, 2011 2:13 PM ET

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Statements   |   Iran

Iran frees hikers, many journalists remain imprisoned

New York, September 21, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the news that U.S. journalist Shane Bauer and his friend Josh Fattal were released today on US$1 million bail by the Iranian government after two years in Tehran's Evin Prison, according to news reports.
September 21, 2011 1:39 PM ET

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Blog   |   Yemen

Video: Yemeni cameraman films himself being wounded

New video from The Telegraph shows Yemeni journalist Hassan al-Wadhaf's footage of being hit in the face by sniper fire during protests in Sana'a. Al-Wadhaf, who is in critical condition, works for the Arabic Media Agency.

September 20, 2011 12:29 PM ET

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