Middle East & North Africa

2011


Alerts   |   Yemen

In Yemen, journalists attacked during protests

At least eight journalists were attacked on Saturday and Sunday while covering protests in Yemen. (Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters)

New York, December 28, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the attacks on at least eight journalists on Saturday and Sunday by armed forces loyal to outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The clashes between pro-Saleh forces and protesters left nine people dead on Saturday, The Associated Press reported

Blog

Responding to Turkey's appalling press freedom record

Hundreds of Turkish journalists march to protest detentions and demand reforms to media laws in Ankara on March 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would like to take credit for Turkey's economic growth and increasing regional influence, but when challenged on his country's abysmal  press freedom record he tends to blame others, including the media itself which, he says, exaggerates the problem.

But the facts speak for themselves, as I noted in a letter CPJ sent yesterday to the prime minister. In it, we condemned the recent raids that have rounded up at least 29 journalists and we criticized the government for the politicized legal process that has led to the imprisonment of dozens of other journalists across the country.

December 23, 2011 10:36 AM ET

Tags:

Letters   |   Turkey

CPJ condemns journalist arrests in Turkey

Prime Minister Erdoğan: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to condemn the arrests of as many as 29 journalists in raids on Tuesday as well as the ongoing media repression that has earned Turkey a reputation as one of the world's worst press freedom violators and done grave damage to the consolidation of Turkish democracy.

December 22, 2011 9:41 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt

In Egypt, press freedom abuses must be investigated

Protesters throw stones at Egyptian soldiers during clashes in Cairo on Sunday. (AP/Nasser Nasser)

New York, December 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Egyptian authorities to halt the assaults on journalists and attacks on news outlets which are effectively censoring coverage of ongoing protests in Cairo. In recent days, CPJ has documented at least 15 attacks on the press during clashes between security forces and protesters in central Cairo.

December 19, 2011 5:18 PM ET

Tags:

Letters   |   Syria

Syria must release imprisoned journalists

Dear President Assad: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to bring to your attention disturbing reports of journalists being arrested and subjected to abuse in Syrian prisons. In the past 10 months, CPJ has documented 29 cases of journalists who were arrested for their work and nine cases of foreign journalists who have been expelled from Syria since March. We have also documented nine cases of journalists who are currently in prison.

Statements   |   Egypt

Egyptian blogger sentence is an insult to press freedom

New York, December 14, 2011-- The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the sentencing of Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad by a military court to two years in prison and a fine for insulting the military and calls for his immediate, unconditional release. Sanad, initially arrested in March was sentenced in April by a military court to three years in prison.

December 14, 2011 3:35 PM ET

Tags:

Letters   |   Egypt

Egypt must investigate attacks on the press

Your Excellency Prime Minister El Ganzory: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to bring to your attention the mounting press freedom violations in Egypt. Between November 19 and 24, we documented at least 35 cases of journalists who were attacked in Cairo and Alexandria when protesters clashed with the military and police. We are attaching the list here and ask specifically for you to note the deteriorating state of press freedom in your country.

December 12, 2011 9:28 AM ET

Tags:

Blog

Several tallies, one conclusion on Turkish press freedom

Press freedom in Turkey is under assault. Thousands of criminal cases have been filed against reporters, the Criminal Code and Anti-Terrorism Act are used routinely to silence critical news coverage, and Kurdish journalists face constant persecution.

Today CPJ released its annual prison census, which tracks cases of journalists jailed for their work globally. (The list counts those who were incarcerated at midnight on December 1, 2011, but does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year.) Since 1990, when we first began compiling this census, Turkey has appeared regularly on the list; in the mid-1990s, it was the world's leading jailer of journalists. Some Turkish journalists have written us to inquire why CPJ's 2011 census lists eight imprisoned journalists in Turkey, while other organizations list as many as 64.

December 8, 2011 4:13 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iraq

In Iraqi Kurdistan, riots lead to press freedom abuses

New York, December 6, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the targeting of media by supporters of various political factions in Kurdistan. Journalists have been attacked and arrested in Iraqi Kurdistan and six media offices have been attacked in the past four days, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Syria

Syria detains blogger, press freedom advocate

Syrian journalist Razan Ghazzawi speaks at a youth conference on journalism earlier this year. The blogger was detained by police late Sunday. (Reuters)

New York, December 5, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detention of journalist and press freedom campaigner Razan Ghazzawi and calls on Syrian authorities to immediately release her. CPJ also urges the government to end the routine harassment and detention of journalists and to make public the names of all detained journalists and any crimes they may be charged with.

December 5, 2011 12:43 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, CPJ, Mexico, Pakistan

Awardees to their colleagues: Buck the system

CPJ's annual International Press Freedom Awards dinner took place at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. (Michael Nagle/Getty Images for CPJ)

The Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria might seem like an odd venue to stage a call for resistance. Nine hundred people in tuxedos and gowns. Champagne and cocktails. Bill Cunningham snapping photos. This combination is generally more likely to coax a boozy nostalgia than foment a revolution. But the journalists honored last night at CPJ's annual International Press Freedom Awards had a clear message to their colleagues: Fight the power.

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran unleashes another wave of arrests and repression

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, far left, director of the official Iranian News Agency, is among those recently charged. In this file photo, he attends a June presidential press conference. (Reuters/Caren Firouz)

New York, November 22, 2011--Iranian authorities have engaged in a series of attacks against the press in the past two weeks, including raiding a news office, banning an independent newspaper, and arresting at least five journalists.

Alerts   |   Egypt

At least 17 journalists assaulted during Egypt clashes

Protesters carry a man wounded during clashes with Egyptian riot police in Tahrir Square Monday, Nov. 21, 2011. (AP)

New York, November 21, 2011 - Clashes between security forces and protesters in Cairo and other Egyptian cities have led to at least 17 assaults on the press over the past couple of days, including a shooting, detentions, and a beating by unidentified security personnel while in custody. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the attacks and calls on authorities to bring them to an immediate end.

"Journalists must be allowed to carry out their work without threat of assault," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "Furthermore, prosecutors have an obligation to investigate claims of abuse by military and police against journalists."

November 21, 2011 4:32 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Syria

Syrian cameraman killed; last seen being arrested

New York, November 21, 2011--A Syrian cameraman was found dead Sunday with his eyes gouged out in the town of al-Qasir, according to several news reports. Ferzat Jarban, who was last seen being arrested, is the first journalist to be killed in Syria since CPJ started documenting journalist fatalities in 1992.

November 21, 2011 2:11 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Libya

VanDyke's deception increases risks for journalists

Matthew VanDyke returned home last week from Libya, arriving at the Baltimore airport still dressed in combat fatigues. "I went there to support the revolution," VanDyke declared. "My family did not know that when I left. You don't tell your mother you're going off to fight a war."

What troubles us is that VanDyke told his mother that he was going to Libya to be a journalist. So when he was captured on March 13 near Brega, that's what she told us.

November 18, 2011 11:01 AM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Angola, China, Internet, Iran, Nigeria, Russia

Defending the middle ground of online journalism

It's easy to use polarizing descriptions of online news-gathering. It's the domain of citizen journalists, blogging without pay and institutional support, or it's a sector filled with the digital works of "mainstream media" facing financial worries and struggling to offer employees the protection they once provided. But there is a growing middle ground: trained reporters and editors who work exclusively online on projects born independent of traditional media. They share many of the practices of an older generation of reporters, but their work draws from the decentralized and agile practices of the digital world. 

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israel continues journalist's detention

Journalist Hassan Ghani, detained since Friday, was arrested by Israeli forces on this aid ship headed to Gaza. (Reuters)

New York, November 10, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by Israel's continued detention of Hassan Ghani, a correspondent for Iran's Press TV.

Ghani was arrested with four other journalists on Friday when soldiers boarded two humanitarian aid ships sailing toward Gaza, news reports said. The other journalists included Lina Attallah, of Al-Masry al-Youm's English edition; Jihan Hafiz, of Democracy Now!; Casey Kauffmann of Al-Jazeera English; and Ayman Al-Zubair of Al-Jazeera. The four journalists, a few of whom had equipment and footage confiscated by the Israeli authorities, have all been released and deported except Ghani, news reports said. 

November 10, 2011 4:30 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israel arrests journalists aboard flotilla

Israeli soldiers board a humanitarian aid ship bound for Gaza. (AP)

New York, November 4, 2011--Israeli forces arrested an unidentified number of journalists today after a group of soldiers boarded two humanitarian aid ships sailing toward Gaza and forced them to redirect to the Israeli port of Ashdod, according to news reports

Statements   |   Syria

Syrian agreement must be monitored for press freedom

New York, November 2, 2011--The Syrian government's acceptance of an Arab League proposal to end a crackdown on unrest must be closely monitored by international and domestic media, said the Committee to Protect Journalists in response to news of the agreement today. The measures include granting media access to the country as well as the release of political prisoners, among them an undetermined number of journalists. 

November 2, 2011 5:37 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Egypt

Video: Egyptian soldiers storm Al-Hurra studio

When Egyptian security forces stormed the Cairo offices of U.S. government-funded Al-Hurra television station Sunday night, the studio was live on the air, covering clashes just outside its building between the military and civilians that left dozens dead (including Al-Tareeq cameraman Wael Mikhael). During the raid, Al-Hurra anchor Amr Khalil continued to broadcast as he tried to calm the soldiers who stormed the office brandishing automatic weapons. Al-Hurra has provided English subtitles of his broadcast.

October 14, 2011 1:32 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt

Attacks on press swell in Egypt; journalist dead

A man grieves near the shrouded bodies of protesters killed during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo Sunday. (AP)

New York, October 12, 2011 -- A demonstration Sunday against religious persecution by Coptic Christians and their supporters turned into fatal confrontations between the military and civilians that left dozens dead, including a journalist. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns raids on two television studios and the cutting of electricity, telephone, and Internet service to a leading independent newspaper that occurred at the same time. CPJ is also alarmed by what appears to constitute incitement to violence on Egypt's state-owned television during the same period.

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.

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

Tags:

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

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran arrests six documentary filmmakers

New York, September 19, 2011--Iranian authorities have arrested six independent filmmakers on vague accusations that they engaged in a foreign conspiracy in connection with a critical new documentary about Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to news accounts. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrests and calls for the journalists' immediate release.

September 19, 2011 6:33 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt

Egyptian military institutes new media restrictions

Egyptian army soldiers keep demonstrators away from the Israeli embassy in Cairo. (Reuters)

New York, September 13, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the new measures taken by Egypt's ruling military council. In recent days, the military announced that it would actively enforce the Hosni Mubarak-era Emergency Law, which allows civilians, including journalists, to be tried in state security courts. Other recent anti-press measures include an Al-Jazeera bureau being raided and shut down, the military announcing a "temporary freeze" on issuing licenses to satellite television stations, and a foreign blogger being denied entry into the country.

Blog   |   Libya

NATO responds to CPJ, but questions remain unanswered

On August 4, CPJ wrote to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen requesting information about the July 30 attacks on broadcast facilities in Libya in which NATO aircraft destroyed three broadcast dishes. As we noted in our letter, CPJ is concerned any time a media outlet faces a military attack. Such attacks can only be justified under international humanitarian law if the facility is being used for military purposes or to incite violence against the civilian population.

September 13, 2011 1:42 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran adds to its list of press freedom violations

Shahrvand-e Emrooz's cover shows Ahmadinejad being lectured. (Shahrvand Weekly Website)
New York, September 9, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the forced closure of two independent Iranian newspapers on Monday and the arrest of an Iranian writer in the city of Tabriz.

In July and August, Shahrvand-e Emrooz (Today's Citizen), a reformist weekly, ran two covers depicting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a satirical light. The paper was banned indefinitely under Article 6 of the Iranian Press Law, which prohibits "insulting legal or real persons who are lawfully respected, even by means of pictures or caricatures," the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) reported.

Alerts   |   Iraq

Iraqi journalist shot dead in Baghdad

Hadi al-Mahdi

New York, September 9, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Thursday evening's killing of Iraqi journalist, filmmaker, and playwright Hadi al-Mahdi in Baghdad and calls on Iraqi authorities to immediately take steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.  

Al-Mahdi, radio show host and critic of the government, was shot dead in his home on Abu Nawas Street in the Baghdad neighborhood of al-Jidida on Thursday evening, Agence France-Presse reported. The Associated Press reported that a police officer said the journalist had been shot by gunmen using pistols outfitted with silencers. Witnesses at the crime scene told Human Rights Watch that they saw no evidence of a struggle or theft and that the journalist's valuables were left untouched. CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.

September 9, 2011 12:55 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Syria

The 'new' Syrian media law is nothing new

President al-Assad (AP)

On August 28, President Bashar al-Assad approved a new media law that purportedly upholds freedom of expression and bans the arrest of journalists. Yet less than a week later, on Saturday, a Syrian journalist and contributor to the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat was arrested, CPJ reported. Just two days before the endorsement of the law, Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat was brutally attacked by masked assailants. A close look at the legislation, Decree No. 108, suggests the Assad regime is simply paying lip service to reform.

September 7, 2011 12:46 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Syria

Syrian journalist arrested, held without charge

Amer Matar (Karim al-Afnan)
New York, September 6, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by Saturday's arrest of a Syrian journalist without charge and the continued reports of missing journalists in Syria.

Amer Matar, contributor to the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, was arrested by Syrian security forces in Damascus on Saturday, the Guardian of London reported. Matar, who is also a political activist, has worked with youth groups in Syria calling for peaceful anti-regime demonstrations and has called for demonstrations on his Facebook page. Before his arrest, he emailed his friend, Karim al-Afnan, a Syrian journalist banned from Syria, a copy of his will and said, "I may not come back from Friday prayers."
September 6, 2011 6:03 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Internet, Iran

Catching the Internet's spies in Iran and elsewhere

In August, Google introduced a new, if rather obscure, security feature to its Chrome web browser, designed to be triggered only under extreme circumstances.

If you were talking to Google's servers using the web's secure "https" protocol, your browser makes a number of checks to ensure that you are really talking to Google's servers. Like an overly obsessive bouncer, the new code double-checks the identity of any supposed Google site against a Chrome-only list of valid Google identities hardwired into the browser.

September 1, 2011 10:34 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt

Jailed Egyptian blogger on hunger strike

Protesters carry a poster of Maikel Nabil Sanad, calling for his release. (Arabawy.org)
New York, August 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to immediately release journalist Maikel Nabil Sanad, who was tried in military court for "insulting the military" and is now serving a three-year sentence in prison. Sanad began a hunger strike in prison on August 22 and was transferred to solitary confinement two days later.

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan frees one journalist; at least 8 still held

At least eight journalists are detained in Sudan despite al-Bashir's announcement. (Reuters)
New York, August 30, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of a jailed journalist in Sudan, but is troubled by reports of the continued detention of at least eight others without charge. President Omar al-Bashir had announced Saturday that he would free all journalists detained in Sudan.

Blog   |   Syria

Smashing the hand that holds the pen

Ferzat recovering at his home. (AFP)

Ali Ferzat likes to work through the night. His attackers knew that. Masked men grabbed Syria's most famous cartoonist as he set out for home from his office near Damascus' central Umayyad Square at around 5 a.m. on Thursday, and bundled him into a van. A few hours later, he lay in a bloody heap with a bag over his head on an airport road some 19 miles (30 kilometers) out of town.

Alerts   |   Oman

Omani judiciary attempts to silence newspaper before trial

New York, August 25, 2011--Charges against prominent Omani journalist and filmmaker Youssef al-Haj should be dropped immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  Al-Haj's trial over an article he wrote that allegedly accused the Ministry of Justice of corruption began on August 14 but was postponed until this Sunday. At the August 14 hearing, the judge ordered that the newspaper that published al-Haj's story, Al-Zaman, not print any details of the case, local human rights activists told CPJ. 

August 25, 2011 5:42 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Libya

Six Libyan journalists still missing

Rebel fighters outside Tripoli's Corinthia Hotel. (AP/Sergey Ponomarev)
New York, August 25, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of four Italian journalists kidnapped Wednesday, but remains concerned about the safety of at least six Libyan journalists who have been missing since the start of the uprising in February.

Statements   |   Syria

Masked men break hands of critical Syrian cartoonist

Ferzat in a photo taken August 14, before he was brutally attacked. (AP/Muzaffar Salman)
New York, August 25, 2011--Ali Ferzat, a famous Syrian cartoonist critical of the government, was abducted and severely beaten by masked gunmen as he left his office early on Thursday in Damascus, international media reported. The attackers stomped on his hands and said the beating was a warning, the Associated Press said. He was dumped bleeding on a roadside several hours later.
August 25, 2011 1:47 PM ET

Tags:

Statements   |   Libya

Journalist escapes Libyan prison after months in captivity

New York, August 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the news that U.S. journalist Matthew VanDyke escaped with several inmates from Abu Salim prison in Tripoli today. VanDyke's mother told CPJ that he called her with the news of his escape and that he is safe and in good spirits. He also told his mother that he had been kept in solitary confinement for much of his imprisonment. It was not clear whether the prison was now controlled by rebels.

August 24, 2011 6:31 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Libya

Video: Journalists holed up in Rixos Hotel


About 35 international journalists remained holed up in Tripoli's Rixos Hotel today, unable to leave the location, according to news reports. New video from The Guardian, above, shows reporters and photojournalists inside the hotel. BBC correspondent Matthew Price said conditions "deteriorated massively" overnight as forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi patrolled the corridors.

UPDATE: Journalists in the Rixos Hotel have been allowed to leave, according to news accounts. CNN's Matthew Chance said the journalists negotiated with armed guards to win their release. The journalists left this afternoon local time in cars provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

August 24, 2011 9:13 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudanese government continues to target press freedom

New York, August 23, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by the continued violations of press freedom in Sudan. In August, Sudanese security services confiscated two newspapers, and on Monday, local journalists reported that the Sudanese National Assembly was considering introducing more restrictive press and publication laws that would further suffocate freedom of expression.

Alerts   |   Yemen

Yemeni government forces arrest cameraman

New York, August 22, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the continuing deterioration of conditions for journalists operating in Yemen. On August 12, authorities detained Ahmed Firas, a cameraman for Suhail TV. According to one local journalist, Firas' detention may be related to his work at the pro-revolution news station. 

August 22, 2011 4:49 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Libya

Australian journalist attacked by assailants in Benghazi

People gather near the courthouse in Benghazi on August 22. (Reuters)
New York, August 22, 2011--Tracey Shelton, a freelance Australian journalist, was brutally attacked in her hotel room in Benghazi, Libya, on August 11, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two armed men wearing military fatigues broke into Shelton's room at the Africa Hotel, tied her up, beat her, and attempted to kidnap her. The journalist escaped by jumping to a neighboring balcony.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israel extends Al-Jazeera journalist's detention

Samer Allawi's mother holds his photo. (AP)
New York, August 17, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by Israel's continued detention of Al-Jazeera journalist Samer Allawi, who has been held without charge for eight days.

"Israeli authorities must publicly explain and provide evidence as to why they continue to hold Samer Allawi," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "Being a journalist is not a crime."
August 17, 2011 3:40 PM ET

Tags:

Letters   |   Iran

Iran must work toward improving press freedom

Dear Dr. Shaheed: Ahead of your report on human rights in Iran to the U.N. General Assembly in September, I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with an assessment of the country's state of press freedom as documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Authorities were detaining 34 journalists when CPJ conducted its annual worldwide census of imprisoned journalists on December 1, 2010, making Iran, along with China, the world's worst jailer of the press. In reviewing these cases and their developments, we have identified three distinct and worrying developments to which we would like to draw your attention.

Alerts   |   Oman

Omani newspaper under threat of being shut down

New York, August 12, 2011--The Sultanate of Oman is threatening to shut down the independent newspaper Al-Zaman for publishing an article alleging corruption in the Ministry of Justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The article's author, prominent Omani journalist and filmmaker Youssef al-Haj, stands trial on Sunday and could face prison time if convicted.
August 12, 2011 4:49 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran continues to target critical journalists

An emotional goodbye between Ahmad Zaid-Abadi and his wife as his furlough ends.
New York, August 10, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about a rise in the number of imprisoned journalists in Iran and the continuing deterioration of their health. In recent days, Iranian authorities increased a prominent journalist's prison term by two years and arrested a critical journalist who had just finished serving a prison sentence. Other journalists have suffered from declining health as a result of substandard conditions, extended periods in solitary confinement, and intentional abuse, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Libya

Request to NATO for clarification on Libya TV attack

Qaddafi on state TV in February. (AP)

On July 30, NATO warplanes attacked three transmission towers in Libya. The goal apparently was to knock Libyan state television off the air because, NATO alleged, "it was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them." 

August 4, 2011 5:51 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran continues to target journalists

Matin-Pour (Permission by his family, ADAPP)

New York, August 3, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is dismayed by news reports in Iran indicating that furloughed journalists are being summoned back to prison while new journalists continue to be convicted on manufactured charges. Reports of journalists' deteriorating physical and mental health are equally disturbing. 

"That the legal rights of accused and imprisoned journalists in Iran are disregarded with regularity has been established beyond a doubt by scores of individual cases documented by CPJ and others," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "Multiple legal analyses have also outlined how the authorities are indifferent to the letter and the spirit of Iranian law in their vindictive pursuit of journalists who are viewed as political adversaries to be silenced or eliminated."

Blog

Q&A: Two of Turkey's leading journalists speak from jail

Journalists Nedim Şener, center, and Ahmet Şık, third from left facing camera, wave upon arrival at an Istanbul courthouse in March. (Reuters)

The arrest of Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener in March this year has put press freedom in Turkey under the international spotlight. Authorities said the journalists had not been detained because of their reporting but as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged ultranationalist plot to overthrow the government known as "Ergenekon." On a recent visit to Turkey, I sent written questions to the reporters in their Istanbul jail through their lawyers and they replied in writing.

August 1, 2011 4:43 PM ET

Tags:

Blog

Editor's killing still haunts Turkey

Hrant Dink, in the poster here, was a controversial journalist who challenged the government's narrative on the killings of Armenians. (Reuters)

There's a policeman on duty these days in the lobby of the elegant apartment building that houses Agos and a receptionist behind security glass buzzes you in to the newspaper's cluttered offices. That's about the only indication that the outspoken Turkish-Armenian editor whom I interviewed here in Istanbul in 2006 was assassinated outside the front door a year later.

July 29, 2011 2:40 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israel's 'anti-boycott' law hurts the country's journalists

Israel's new law makes supporting boycott campaigns a civil offense. (AP)

Two weeks ago, late on a Monday evening, the Israeli parliament passed a controversial law aimed at protecting the country from calls to boycott Israel because of its policies about Palestinians. The law, dubbed the "anti-boycott" law, makes supporting these campaigns a civil offense in the state of Israel. Days after the bill passed, public opinion polls revealed that a majority of Israelis (roughly 52 percent) support the aggressive measure. 

July 28, 2011 3:12 PM ET

Tags:

Statements   |   Iran

Iran adds a year to award-winning journalist's prison term

New York, July 26, 2011-- Recent news reports that Iranian authorities have added a year to the politicized five-year sentence currently being served by journalist Mohammad Davari is the latest example of vindictive government policies against critical journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Letters   |   Turkey

Journalists held without due process in Turkey

Dear Minister Ergin: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending the rights of journalists worldwide, is alarmed by the ongoing detention of journalists in Turkey. We are also concerned by the large number of criminal cases opened against reporters under the sweeping provisions of the Turkish Criminal Code and Anti-Terrorism Act.

July 25, 2011 3:44 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iran

In Iran, Shamsolvaezin ordered to prison

Shamsolvaezin's mother faces confiscation of her home if he does not report to prison. (AP)

New York, July 20, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is dismayed to learn that veteran Iranian journalist Mashallah Shamsolvaezin has been summoned to serve a 16-month prison term that was unjustly levied in 2010.

Shamsolvaezin is a journalist, political analyst, deputy chairman of the now-defunct Iranian Journalists Association, and spokesman for the Committee for the Defense of Freedom of the Press. In December 2010, he was sentenced to 16 months in prison on charges of "insulting the president" and "weakening the Islamic Republic regime."

Alerts   |   Bahrain

CPJ calls on Bahrain to end harassment of critical journalists

New York, July 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Bahrain to end harassment and contrived legal proceedings against critical journalists. Since February, critical journalists have been intimidated, interrogated, smeared in government-owned and -aligned publications, and harassed and sued by government supporters. 

July 19, 2011 5:26 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Jordan

CPJ calls on Jordan to prevent attacks on journalists

New York, July 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on the government of Jordan to do more to prevent attacks on journalists who cover demonstrations and other forms of civil unrest. On Friday, security forces beat 16 journalists in identifying orange vests during a demonstration and planned sit-in that rapidly devolved into clashes between security personnel and government supporters with demonstrators.

July 18, 2011 6:10 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Russia, Sri Lanka, UK, USA

Journalists take stage: Q&A with 'Record' playwright

A promotional image for "On the Record," which opens this week at London's Arcola Theatre.

The true stories of journalists from Mexico, Sri Lanka, Russia, the United States, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories will hit the stage July 20 at London's Arcola Theatre. "On the Record," which runs through August 13, examines the careers of six journalists, the risks they face, and their determination to make an impact through their work. This is the latest production by the UK-based Ice and Fire theater company, founded in 2003 to explore human rights stories through performance. Christine Bacon, Ice and Fire's artistic director and co-author of "On the Record," discusses the production's inspiration, messages, and challenges in this CPJ interview. 

Alerts   |   Syria

Silencing global coverage, Syria detains, expels reporters

New York, July 14, 2011--The Syrian government has detained a local journalist who contributes to pan-Arab news outlets and expelled an international reporter, according to news reports, continuing a crackdown designed to silence global news coverage of the nation's political crisis.

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran abuses detained journalists, arrests others

Zaid-Abadi (Creative Commons)

New York, July 8, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by the Iranian government's persistent mistreatment of detained journalists as well as news reports that authorities have arrested two additional journalists in recent days. 

"We are profoundly disturbed by media reports and testimonies indicating that Iran's prison and judicial authorities continue to engage in abusive and retaliatory tactics against detained journalists," said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. "Making matters worse, the authorities continue to detain new journalists at an alarmingly steady pace." 

Blog   |   Iran

When rape is inevitable: Surviving imprisonment in Iran

As I read the account of Saeeda Siabi in an Iranian prison it became hard for me to breathe. Her descriptions of being raped in front of her 4-month-old son stopped the air in my chest. "They took me to a torture room and tied me to a bed," she said. "I was wounded and injured, but I forgot about wounds and injuries. I thought I was fainting."

The depiction of the violence endured by Siabi--an Iranian housewife imprisoned for more than four years because of her politically active family--must be read in its entirety to fully appreciate. But it also must be read to understand what has happened to thousands of women and men held, like her, in fetid Iranian jails over decades. Journalists, activists, bloggers--these political prisoners have suffered torture on a nightmarish scale.

July 7, 2011 3:05 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Internet, USA

Google+ for journalists at risk

A Google developers conference in May. (Reuters/Beck Diefenbach)

When they're creating new features, software designers talk in terms of "use cases." A use case describes steps that future customers might perform with a website. "Starting a group with friends," would be a use case for Facebook. "Buying a book" would be case for Amazon's designers. 

Blog   |   Bahrain, Denmark

Kings, queens, and torture in Bahrain

 The Danish queen pays a visit to her Bahraini counterpart. (AFP/BNA)

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark visited Bahrain in February at the invitation of King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa. As part of the official program, the queen honored Hamad with the "Storkorset af Dannebrog," the second highest Danish royal order. Although the visit took place about two weeks before Bahraini authorities began a violent crackdown on protesters, Bahrain has long had a troubled human rights and press freedom record. The current crackdown includes serious attacks on the press

Blog   |   Internet, Syria

Syria's Assad gives tacit OK to online attacks on press

President al-Assad appears to have encouraged hacking attacks. (AP)

On Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave his third public address on the vast unrest that has roiled his nation. Reporters described him as nervous. He, the reporters, or perhaps both, may have been thinking about the significance of speech No. 3. Both Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak were overthrown shortly after they delivered their third addresses on tumult in their countries. My interest, however, was on a sentence buried near the end of his address. Here's the official translation:

June 24, 2011 2:20 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts

U.N. secretary-general commits to defending press freedom

Ban Ki-moon (AP)

New York, June 23, 2011-- Press freedom, particularly free expression online, will be a priority for newly re-elected U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. chief pledged today in a meeting with the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders.


The heads of both organizations said they were encouraged by statements made by the secretary-general in support of press freedom during the upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa.

Alerts   |   Syria

Syria must prove jailed blogger is alive, well

New York, June 23, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information today called on the Syrian government to produce immediate evidence showing that unjustly imprisoned blogger Tal al-Mallohi is alive and well. The demand follows several recent news reports saying that al-Mallohi died in a Syrian prison a month ago. 

June 23, 2011 3:18 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain

In Bahrain, extraordinary tribunal sentences bloggers to life

The sign, which depicts some of the men sentenced today, reads at the top: 'Disease must be excised from the body of the nation.' (AP/Hasan Jamali)

New York, June 22, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's politicized verdict in which 21 bloggers, human rights activists, and members of the political opposition were found guilty of plotting to topple the monarchy. Today's court ruling further cements 2011 as the worst year for press freedom in Bahrain since the island kingdom declared its independence in 1971. 

June 22, 2011 5:29 PM ET

Tags:

Reports   |   Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Journalist Assistance, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria

Journalists in exile 2011: Iran, Cuba drive out critics

Two of the world’s most repressive nations each forced at least 18 journalists to flee their homes in the past year. In exile, these journalists face enormous challenges. A CPJ special report by Elisabeth Witchel.

Newly freed Cuban detainees and their families in a bus after their arrival in Madrid. Exile was the price the detainees paid for their freedom. (AP/Victor R. Caivano)

Blog   |   Cuba, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe

CPJ's exiled journalists survey: Behind the numbers

Berhane (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star)

In 2007, my colleague Karen Phillips suggested we do something to mark World Refugee Day. Initially planning to publish a brief statement, I set about reviewing our data for background, checking in with older journalist cases about their current situation and looking broadly for trends to highlight. As the number of cases began counting into the hundreds, it became clear that what we had was a new indicator of press freedom conditions. Today, we're marking our fifth year of publishing the CPJ survey of journalists in exile, which is based on 10 years of data on 649 cases. 

Blog   |   Internet, Syria, UAE

Beyond the Amina hoax: Real cases in the Middle East

A Gay Girl in Damascus was a personal blog, said to be written by a young woman named Amina Arraf, that appeared to give an everyday record of being a lesbian in modern-day Syria. Following the events of the Arab Spring, as the political situation in Syria grew less stable, the blog attracted more readers and media coverage. Its compelling descriptions of Syrian life gave many a way to connect emotionally to a distant crisis. On June 6, the author's "cousin" wrote that the blogger had been seized by the security services.

June 15, 2011 6:07 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iran

In Iran, journalists remain in government's crosshairs

Derakhshan (Creative Commons)

New York, June 15, 2011--Iran's ongoing assault against independent and opposition media has recently gained momentum, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. In recent weeks, a journalist died in custody for what his family said was a lack of adequate medical care, the government sentenced another journalist to 20 years in prison, arrested one more, and confirmed a 19 and a half year prison term for a blogger known as the "Blogfather." 

Statements   |   UAE

UAE intent on punishing online dissent

New York, June 14, 2011-- Today's trial of prominent political blogger Ahmad Mansoor and four others for alleged insult of authorities, criticism and undermining of the government in relation to the their online writings and activism represents a further setback for press freedom in the United Arab Emirates, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Blog   |   Lebanon, Pakistan, Russia

November 23 becomes International Day to End Impunity

The IFEX conference in Beirut put a focus on impunity in journalist murders. (Lidija Sabados/IFEX)

Members from around the world of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange met in Beirut last week. On the second day of our conference, amid discussions of the daily problems journalists face, we received word of the abduction and murder of Pakistani investigative journalist Saleem Shahzad. A day later, the conference buzzed with news of an arrest more than five years after the murder of iconic Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. As news unfolded in both cases, impunity--a recurring theme in official meetings and hallway conversations--loudly made its way to the forefront. And on June 2, IFEX members announced that they would join forces to globally put an end to journalists' murders and impunity for their killers, making November 23 the International Day to End Impunity.

Statements   |   Morocco

Politicized prison sentence for Moroccan editor

New York, June 9, 2011-- Today's one-year prison sentence against Rachid Nini, executive editor of the Moroccan daily Al-Massae and owner of Al-Massae Media Group, is the latest instance of the Moroccan government settling scores with critical journalists through a judiciary that is subservient to the executive branch, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

June 9, 2011 6:23 PM ET

Tags:

Reports   |   Colombia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Libya, Pakistan

The silencing crime: Sexual violence and journalists

Few cases of sexual assault against journalists have ever been documented, a product of powerful cultural and professional stigmas. But now dozens of journalists are coming forward to say they have been sexually abused in the course of their work. A CPJ special report by Lauren Wolfe

Chaotic public events are often the setting for sexual abuse of journalists. CBS correspondent Lara Logan was assaulted at this political demonstration in Cairo. (AP/Khalil Hamra)

Reports   |   CPJ

CPJ security guide: Addendum on sexual aggression

In conjunction with the release of its special report, “The Silencing Crime: Sexual Violence and Journalists,” CPJ is issuing an addendum to its existing journalist security guide. The addendum, written by CPJ Journalist Security Coordinator Frank Smyth, addresses the issue of sexual aggression against journalists and focuses on ways to minimize the risk.The addendum, published below, is also available in the full text of CPJ’s online security guide. 

June 7, 2011 8:59 AM ET

Tags:

Reports   |   Colombia, Multimedia, Pakistan

Audio Report: The Silencing Crime



Journalists around the world are talking more candidly about sexual abuse they've experienced on the job. CPJ Senior Editor Lauren Wolfe, author of the special report, "The Silencing Crime,"  describes her findings in this podcast. Listen on the player above, or right click here to download an MP3. (2:05)

Read CPJ's special report, "The Silencing Crime: Sexual Violence and Journalists."

June 7, 2011 8:58 AM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   CPJ, Security

In journalist security field, maturing and understanding

Journalists are facing increasing risk at public demonstrations. Here, a March rally in Islamabad to denounce the CIA. (Reuters/Mian Khursheed)

Journalist security is still a maturing field, but news organizations are devoting more attention to preparing their reporters and photographers for the dangers particular to the profession. That means understanding risks that are constantly evolving. The brutal attack on CBS correspondent Lara Logan at a Cairo demonstration has drawn worldwide attention to the issue of sexual assault against journalists--CPJ issued new guidelines on the threat today--but the case also points to an emerging, if lesser-known threat. In the past 18 months, more journalists have been killed covering violent demonstrations and other non-military events than at any time since CPJ began keeping detailed records two decades ago.

June 7, 2011 8:57 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan journalists who report on rape charged with crimes

New York, June 6, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Sudan to drop criminal charges and abandon all other tactics of harassment employed against at least 10 journalists who have reported on the alleged rape and torture of a youth activist. The activist said she was raped after participating in a demonstration in January.

June 6, 2011 6:11 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt

In Egypt, military harasses critical journalists

New York, June 2, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to stop its harassment of journalists who report critically on the military. Officers and military prosecutors have censored, harassed, or otherwise intimidated numerous critical journalists since February, and particularly in recent weeks.

Alerts   |   Yemen

Yemen shells TV station, news agency, online newspaper

New York, May 26, 2011--Military forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh shelled Yemeni satellite broadcaster Suhail TV Wednesday as they exchanged fire with forces loyal to the political opposition and tribal gunmen. A similar incident occurred at the official Saba news agency on Tuesday. The offices of the news website Al-Sahwa Net were also hit multiple times in the ongoing exchanges of fire, according to local journalists.

May 26, 2011 4:53 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan: Radio journalist held in Juba without charge

Mohammed Arkou has been held for two weeks without charge. (SRS)

New York, May 26, 2011--The government of Southern Sudan must immediately release radio reporter Mohamad Arkou, who has been in detention for 15 days with no official charges, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Security agents arrested Arkou, a reporter with the U.S.-backed Sudan Radio Service and the Darfur News and Information Service, on May 11 in Wau, the capital of Western Bahr-el Ghazal State in southern Sudan, the Sudan Radio Service reported.

Blog   |   Internet, Syria

Syrian Facebook users develop strategies against online threats

Jennifer Preston in the New York Times reports on some stories that we also have been hearing from Syrian Internet use. She documents incidents of passwords extracted by force, and the deliberate defacing of social networking pages by security forces, apparently in order to sabotage reports of unrest from that country.

A man in his 20s living in Syria said that the police demanded his Facebook password late last month after arresting him where he worked and taking his laptop. "I told him, at first, I didn't have a Facebook account, but he told me, after he punched me in the face, that he knew I had one because they were watching my 'bad comments' on it," he said. "I knew then that they were monitoring me."

The man, who asked that his name not be used because he fears that talking openly could cost him his life, gave up his password and spent two weeks in jail. After he was released, he said that he found pro-regime comments made in his name on his Facebook account. "I immediately created a new account with a fake name and so did most of my friends," he said.

A strong password is not much protection against what computer security types drily call "rubber-hose cryptanalysis" -- the use of violence to extract login details. We know that Syrian security forces also threaten users that they will violently punish anyone who changes their password after they leave.

Instead, Preston reports on new strategies developed by those on the ground. They share their passwords with colleagues, so if a Facebook user is arrested and his account misused, colleagues can log in and remove personal information or delete vandalised content. Distributors of content also create multiple Facebook accounts so that when threatened, they reveal an innocent account, instead of the one they use for dangerous activities.

Can Facebook and other US companies help their users working under these conditions? They could remind readers in that region to set their Account Security settings to force secure browsing, login notifications, and explain how to monitor account activity. And they may want to be more cautious in pro-actively taking down apparently fake accounts, in case these are being used as decoy accounts.

May 24, 2011 8:36 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Yemen

Violent media intimidation in Yemen and Bahrain

New York, May 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on the governments of Yemen and Bahrain to end all intimidation and harassment of and physical violence against journalists. In Yemen, on Saturday, a journalist was attacked and repeatedly stabbed by unidentified assailants. In Bahrain, the authorities continue to detain and abuse journalists.

Alerts   |   Libya, South Africa

Libya: Release body of South African photojournalist

(AP)

New York, May 20, 2011--The Libyan government should immediately release the body of South African photographer Anton Hammerl, at left, and investigate the role of the armed forces in his death, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Hammerl, 41, was shot and killed by government forces near Brega in eastern Libya on April 5. Three journalists traveling with him were detained by Libyan authorities until May 18 and announced Hammerl's death after their release.

May 20, 2011 5:45 PM ET

Also Available in
العربية

Tags:

Blog   |   Libya

Journalists under attack in Libya: The tally

Rebels outside the city of Ajdabiya. (AP/Anja Niedringhaus)
CPJ has documented more than 80 attacks on the press since political unrest erupted in Libya last month. They include five fatalities, at least three serious injuries, at least 50 detentions, 11 assaults, two attacks on news facilities, the jamming of Al-Jazeera and Al-Hurra transmissions, at least four instances of obstruction, the expulsion of two international journalists, and the interruption of Internet service. At least six local journalists are missing amid speculation they are in the custody of security forces. One international journalist and two media support workers are also unaccounted for. Here's a running list of all attacks on journalists and the media in Libya since February 16:

Blog   |   Iran, Syria

Parvaz says Syria detained her for Al-Jazeera work

Al-Jazeera has interviewed Dorothy Parvaz, the network journalist who was held for 19 days in Syria and Iran. Parvaz describes how the Syrian government told her at first that she was believed to be a U.S. spy, but later it became clear, she said, that she was being held because she worked for the network.  Watch the video--in which Parvaz talks about hearing "savage" beatings from her Syrian jail cell around the clock--below.

May 19, 2011 4:27 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Iraq, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka

Video: 'Living in silence: Journalists in exile'

We write a lot at CPJ about the terrible things that happen to journalists because of their reporting, but we don't often get a chance to show you what happens to them after they are forced to flee their homes and land abroad. This video, about three such journalists, is worth watching.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israeli soldier seriously injures Palestinian photojournalist

Men carry wounded photojournalist Mohammed Othman. (Mazen al-Breem/Demotix)

New York, May 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Israel today to investigate the shooting of Palestinian photographer Mohammed Othman. Othman was shot and seriously wounded by an Israeli soldier on May 15 near the Erez Crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, while on assignment for the U.K.-based citizen journalism site and photo agency Demotix, according to local and international news reports.

May 18, 2011 5:35 PM ET

Also Available in
العربية

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Iran, Libya, Syria

Five Bahraini journalists detained; Parvaz still missing

New York, May 17, 2011--Bahrain's crackdown against journalists continues unabated with five new detentions in less than a week, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Syria and Iran, one of which is holding Al-Jazeera English journalist Dorothy Parvaz, continue to make intentionally vague or misleading remarks about her whereabouts and physical condition. Meanwhile, Libya announced today that four detained journalists would be released imminently. 

Statements   |   Iran, Syria

Iran must release Dorothy Parvaz

Parvaz (Ben Piven)

New York, May 11, 2011--Al-Jazeera reported today that Syria has deported Dorothy Parvaz, a journalist working for the channel's English-language service, to Iran.  The Committee to Protect Journalists is calling for her immediate release.

"Syria's apparent deportation of Dorothy Parvaz to Iran when she is also a citizen of the U.S. and Canada, is an irresponsible choice," said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. "Given Iran's abysmal press freedom record, we are concerned about Parvaz's well-being. Iranian authorities must immediately release Parvaz, who has committed no crime."

May 11, 2011 1:56 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Syria

Syria holds at least five journalists in custody

Syrians carry banners during an anti-government protest in the coastal town of Banias, Syria. (AP)

New York, May 10, 2011--Syria is holding at least five local and foreign journalists as part of its ongoing repression of the media, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ also called on the Syrian government to make public the names of all journalists currently in detention and to release them without delay.  

Alerts   |   Tunisia

More than a dozen journalists assaulted in Tunisia

Masked plainclothes police officers take away an alleged rioter on a motorbike during clashes in Tunis. (AP/Chokri Mahjoub)
New York, May 9, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on the Tunisian authorities today to restrain from attacking journalists reporting on anti-government demonstrations after plainclothes police physically assaulted 15 local and international journalists on Friday.

Blog   |   Internet, Syria

Syrian Facebook: Low-tech threats and high-tech scrutiny

Journalists and online news-gatherers have been struggling to collect and distribute high-quality information about recent events in Syria. Foreign journalists have been turned away at the border; local online reporters have been detained. The quality of Internet and mobile phone connectivity has been extremely variable, with reports of Net and phone connections being cut off in selective areas, such as Deraa and Douma. The Wall Street Journal reported blocks on social-networking sites, and CPJ has received reports of consistent slowdowns of home Internet services such as Skype and Google Mail.

May 6, 2011 4:58 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen

Morocco, Syria detain journalists; violations across region

New York, May 4, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Morocco today to release editor Rachid Nini and sought the release of journalist Dorothy Parvaz as well as other journalists in Syria. Press freedom violations continued throughout the region, with abuses in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Yemen.

Reports   |   Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Russia, Syria, Tunisia

The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors

The world’s worst online oppressors are using an array of tactics, some reflecting astonishing levels of sophistication, others reminiscent of old-school techniques. From China’s high-level malware attacks to Syria’s brute-force imprisonments, this may be only the dawn of online oppression. A CPJ special report by Danny O’Brien

A security line outside Google's Beijing office. (AP/Andy Wong)

Reports   |   Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Multimedia, Russia, Syria, Tunisia

Audio Report: The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors




In our special report, "The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors," CPJ examines the 10 prevailing strategies of online oppression worldwide and the countries that have taken the lead in their use. In this accompanying podcast, CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney notes that these strategies range from sophisticated cyber-attacks to traditional brute-force techniques. Listen to the podcast on the player above, or right click here to download an MP3. (2:47)

Read CPJ's special report, "The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors."

May 2, 2011 8:44 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Libya, Yemen

Bahrain detains columnist; 4 located in Libya

New York, April 25, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Bahraini authorities to disclose the whereabouts of Haidar Mohammed al-Nuaimi, a columnist for daily newspaper Al-Wasat. Roughly 30 uniformed and plainclothes police raided al-Nuaimi's family home in Manama today, dragging him into the street and beating him, local journalists told CPJ. 

Blog   |   Libya

Chris Hondros: Images of life and death

Photojournalist Chris Hondros, who was killed in Libyaon April 20, captured humanity at its worst and its best, in times of war and despair and at moments of kindness and hope. Here are some of his photos, from some of the world's most treacherous spots, courtesy of Getty Images.

|

The first image is from Hondros' last assignment in Misurata, where a rebel fighter rolls a burning tire into a room of loyalist troops. The next two images are also from the Libyan conflict, the first an overloaded aid truck and the second at a graveside.

They are followed by a photo from Nigeria, where a child is given a vaccine; from Iraq, where pistol meets prayer; and from Liberia, where a soldier comes under scrutiny.

The final two images are a contrast in war and peace. Hooded Iraqis await interrogation by U.S. Marines; and Kurdish boys play in Turkey, near the Iraqi border.

Please read the CPJ special report on journalists killed in 2011 and visit our database of reporters, editors, photojournalists, and others who have given their lives for their work. Also available is this tribute to Hondros by Nic Bothma. Fellow photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who died in the same attack, was remembered by Dino Mahtani.

UPDATED: We updated this entry on December 20, 2011, to add links to our year-end report on journalists killed. Photographers paid a heavy price during the year.

April 22, 2011 6:04 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Liberia, Libya

Tribute to Chris Hondros, who ventured far with his torch

Chris Hondros, Carolyn Cole, a rebel fighter, and the author in Liberia. (Courtesy Nic Bothma)

My dear friend Chris.

In the silence, I hear the symphony of memories that was your life as I knew it. I see your waving hand gestures and wry smile as you recount stories whilst we sit together in the tropical Liberian heat discussing everything from classical music to aperture priority. My heart and mind keep seeing you, hearing you, and struggling to believe you have moved on.

April 22, 2011 4:49 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Iraq, Security

Anti-press violence in Iraqi Kurdistan, past and present

Protesters denounce anti-press violence in Iraqi Kurdisatn in this 2010 demonstration. (AP/Yahya Ahmed)

Kurdistan is different, as nearly every Iraqi Kurd I have ever met has said. Far less violent than the rest of Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the parts of the north controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government have escaped the kind of sectarian unrest that continues to flare in the south. But in recent months more than 150 Iraqi Kurdish journalists have been injured or attacked, according to the local Metro Center to Defend Journalists. One journalist was murdered three years ago in Kirkuk after uncovering evidence of government corruption. But most of the journalists who find themselves more recently under siege have been covering violent clashes between the Kurdish security forces and protestors in Sulaymaniyah.

April 22, 2011 12:57 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Libya

Tim Hetherington: A star inexorably, humbly rising

Hetherington at the opening night of the World Press Photo Award exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 7, 2008. (AP/Keystone/Eddy Risch)

I first met Tim Hetherington in Monrovia in 2005, in the run-up to Liberia's then historic elections, which officially drew the line under the country's 14-year civil war. Tim had already reported from Liberia in the chaotic final stages of that war in 2003, marching for days on end through dense and unforgiving tropical bush filming rebels making a last desperate assault on the regime of the falling president, Charles Taylor.

April 22, 2011 12:35 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Libya

Photojournalists Hetherington, Hondros dead in Libya

Hetherington working in Benghazi in March. (Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly)
Hondros in Liberia in 2003 (Getty Images)

New York, April 20, 2011--Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, acclaimed photojournalists who had worked in conflict zones around the world, were killed in an explosion in the western Libyan city of Misurata today. Two other photographers were injured. Hetherington co-directed the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Restrepo," while Hondros was a 2004 Pulitzer Prize finalist for "his powerful and courageous coverage" of unrest in Liberia.

Alerts   |   Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Yemen

Journalist held in Yemen; attacks in Kurdistan, West Bank

New York, April 20, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Yemeni authorities today to explain why they have held prominent journalist Ali Salah Ahmed since Tuesday without revealing his location or charging him with a crime. 

Blog   |   China, Libya

Al-Jazeera journalist pans China's Libya coverage

In reporting on the Libyan conflict, China's media "emphasize only the humanitarian disasters caused by Western air bombardments, and [report] sparingly if at all on the violent suppression and massacre of the people by Qaddafi," Al-Jazeera's Beijing bureau chief, Ezzat Shahrour, writes on his blog. Chinese readers so far have been largely supportive of his viewpoint.

April 19, 2011 1:58 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Libya, Syria

Al-Wasat founder dies in custody in Bahrain

New York, April 15, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Bahraini authorities today to conduct an immediate and transparent investigation into the death in state custody of Karim Fakhrawi, left, founder and board member of Al-Wasat, the country's premier independent daily.

Fakhrawi died Tuesday, a week after he was apparently taken into custody, according to news reports. Human rights defenders told CPJ that Fakhrawi had gone to a police station on April 5 to complain that authorities were about to bulldoze his house.

Blog   |   Iran

When a defender is persecuted, what rights are left?

Everyone at some point has needed someone to stand up for them. These people shine in our memories for gestures or actions taken on our behalf, whether as children against the schoolyard bully or as adults in favor of a scholarly proposition or professional advance. But an especially powerful embodiment of an advocate is that of an attorney who uses the law, even where individuals have few rights, to argue for the freedom or survival of those who are oppressed. Nasrin Sotoudeh is such an advocate, and on April 26 her courage, determination, and professionalism as a writer, lawyer, and human rights activist in Iran will be honored with the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. Sotoudeh, who has served as legal counsel for several journalists imprisoned in Iran, was sentenced in January to 11 years in prison. 

April 15, 2011 2:03 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt

Substantial setback for press freedom in Egypt

New York, April 13, 2011--A new requirement by the Egyptian military that local print media obtain approval for all mentions of the armed forces before publication is the single worst setback for press freedom in Egypt since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in February, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  

April 13, 2011 4:08 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Yemen

Bahraini blogger dies in custody; journalists under attack

Newspaper headlines report that Bahrain has suspended opposition newspaper Al-Wasat. (Reuters)
New York, April 12, 2011-- The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Bahraini authorities to launch an immediate and thorough investigation into the death of a blogger while in state custody. Bahraini authorities, meanwhile, announced that they would file criminal charges against three senior editors at the Gulf kingdom's premier independent daily, continuing a months-long pattern of violence, harassment, and intimidation against journalists covering widespread civil unrest. CPJ documented other attacks on the press in Libya, Syria, and Yemen.

Alerts   |   Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, UAE, Yemen

More journalists held in Libya; blogger jailed in Egypt

Magdi Hilali among detained. (MBC)

New York, April 11, 2011--Continuing a weeks-long pattern of seizing journalists covering the Libyan conflict, the government of Muammar Qaddafi is detaining two more television journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. And in Egypt, in a serious setback for press freedom under the transitional government, a court has sentenced a blogger to a three-year prison term for "insulting the military." 

Alerts   |   Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen

Journalist missing in Libya; 1 killed in Iraq

Matthew VanDyke

New York, April 8, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the fate of American freelance journalist Matthew VanDyke, who has been missing in Libya since mid-March, according to his family and news reports. He is among 15 reporters either missing or in government custody in Libya.

Alerts   |   Libya

Libya detains 4 more international journalists

James Foley among detained. (AP/GlobalPost)

New York, April 7, 2011--Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi have detained four international journalists on the outskirts of the city of Brega, news reports said today, continuing the government's pattern of arbitrary detentions and other restrictions. The Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities to stop detaining, expelling, and obstructing journalists reporting on the Libyan conflict.

April 7, 2011 6:03 PM ET

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Yemen

Journalists to be expelled from Libya; Bahrain deports 2

Libyan rebels and journalists run for cover as pr-Qaddafi forces shell rebel positions just outside Brega. (AP/Altaf Qadri)

New York, April 6, 2011--More than 20 foreign journalists were told that they would have to leave Libya within 24 hours, National Public Radio said today. NPR reported that Libyan authorities asked journalists from different international news outlets to leave the country. The media outlets include Britain's Channel 4, CNN, Fox News, The Independent, Italian TV, ITV, Le Figaro, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, NBC News, The New York Times, RAI, RTL, and The Sunday Times of London. The government has also decided to not issue new visas for journalists who wish to cover the unfolding conflict, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reported from Tripoli. 

Alerts   |   Jordan, Syria

Threats to Al-Jazeera in Jordan; journalists released in Syria

Syrians living in Jordan protest in solidarity with anti-government protesters in Syria. (Reuters/Majed Jaber)

New York, April 5, 2011--Al-Jazeera staffers in Jordan have received anonymous threatening phone calls warning that their office and correspondents would be attacked, Al-Jazeera's Amman bureau chief told CPJ. Journalists in Jordan have been facing mounting dangers while covering pro-reform demonstrations, CPJ research has found.

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Iraq, Libya, Yemen

Bahrain manipulates daily; attacks in Libya, Iraq, Yemen

 Mansoor al-Jamri (Reuters)
New York, April 4, 2011--The Bahraini government continued its attempts at muzzling critical media with the Ministry of Information ordering the country's premier independent daily temporarily shut down on Sunday. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Bahraini government's strong-arm tactics, which effectively forced a change in a prominent paper's editorial management. In Libya, Iraq, and Yemen, independent and critical media continue to be targets for government intimidation and harassment, CPJ research found.

Blog   |   Libya

Q&A: NYT's Lynsey Addario on Libya sexual assault

Lynsey Addario said at Columbia University that her ordeal was no worse than her male colleagues'. (Rebecca Castillo)

New York Times photographer Lynsey Addario is speaking publicly about sexual aggression she experienced while detained in Libya last month by forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi. Addario was held for six days with Times colleagues Anthony Shadid, Stephen Farrell, and Tyler Hicks, all of whom were subjected to physical abuse. In this interview with CPJ, Addario speaks candidly about the brutality, focusing particularly on the groping and other sexual aggression she endured. Farrell, her colleague, also spoke briefly with CPJ. All forms of anti-press violence are abhorrent, but the issue of sexual aggression has not been as widely documented or discussed as other types of attacks. Since CBS News disclosed in February that correspondent Lara Logan was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted while on assignment in Cairo, more journalists are starting to speak out in hopes the issue can be more fully understood. Here is Addario's story:

April 4, 2011 12:09 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Yemen

Journalists detained in Libya, Syria, Yemen; 1 dead in Iraq

New York, April 1, 2011--Al-Jazeera said today that Libyan authorities re-arrested four of its journalists just hours after they had been released. A Syrian journalist who spoke critically of Libyan government policies was also reported in state custody. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the ongoing attacks on the press in Libya, and calls on authorities to immediately release all journalists in custody.

Blog   |   Libya

Taking risks to tell the story: NYT journalists discuss Libya

Anthony Shadid, left, and Tyler Hicks tell the audience about their ordeal in Libya. (Pauline Eiferman)

On March 15, four New York Times journalists were detained in Libya while crossing a checkpoint after they entered the country without visas. They were released six days later. The four--photojournalists Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks, and reporters Anthony Shadid and Stephen Farrell--came to Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism on Thursday for what will be their only public event. The panel was moderated by Columbia Professor Ann Cooper, who was formerly CPJ's executive director.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

In Gaza, journalists attacked covering peaceful protests

A Hamas policeman orders a group of students to disperse after they attempted to gather for a protest in Gaza City. (AP/Hatem Moussa)

New York, March 31, 2011--Hamas security forces assaulted and obstructed journalists trying to cover protests in Gaza on Wednesday, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the assaults and calls on the authorities in Gaza to end the harassment of journalists reporting from demonstrations.

Alerts   |   Libya, Syria

Reuters journalists under attack in Syria, Libya

New York, March 30, 2011--Reuters said today it was urgently seeking the safe return of two of its veteran journalists in Syria, one of whom was said to be in state custody while the other was reported missing. In Libya, meanwhile, a Reuters correspondent was expelled today without explanation.

Blog   |   Sudan

Remembering South Sudan's pioneer female reporter

When The Juba Post's star reporter, Apollonia Mathia, told me that so-called "tong tong" rebels had attacked again near Gumba, in southern Sudan, I looked at her warily. "Let me get the camera I'll check it out," she said. Apollonia planned to hop on our rickety motorbike to cover a story about the infamous Ugandan rebels, the Lord's Resistance Army. Locals in the current capital of what will soon be South Sudan, Juba, call the Ugandan rebels "tong tong," which literally means "cut cut," because of their notoriously brutal machete attacks. It was getting late in the day, but I knew there was no point in trying to convince Apollonia out of a story. 

March 30, 2011 6:17 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria

Journalists detained in Bahrain, Egypt

New York, March 30, 2011--A CNN crew was detained today in Manama while interviewing a prominent Bahraini human rights defender, according to a Twitter posting by the network and a CPJ interview. The detentions come amid a recent series of repressive actions by the Bahraini government, which included today's arrest of a well-known blogger. Anti-press actions were also reported in Egypt, Syria, and Libya, CPJ research shows.

March 30, 2011 3:00 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania, Syria

Syria cracks down on press; attacks in Libya, elsewhere

Syrians shout slogans in support of protesters in Deraa. (Reuters)

New York, March 28, 2011--Facing the nationwide spread of political unrest, Syrian authorities barred three Reuters journalists from reporting, blocked journalistic access to a hotbed of political dissent, censored a critical satellite station, and detained a political blogger. The widespread repression in Syria came on the same weekend that Libyan security agents forcibly barred a woman in Tripoli from giving journalists her account of being raped and abused by militiamen loyal to leader Muammar Qaddafi. Attacks on the press were also reported in Iraq, Mauritania, and Jordan.

March 28, 2011 4:39 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Yemen

Yemen shuts Al-Jazeera offices; journalists beaten

New York, March 24, 2011--Yemeni authorities today ordered Al-Jazeera's offices shut and its journalists stripped of accreditation, escalating a week-long series of reprisals against the station that has included beatings, expulsions, raids, and death threats. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the government's decision to shut Al-Jazeera and urges authorities to reverse the order immediately.

March 24, 2011 2:12 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Egypt

Q&A: Ayman Mohyeldin, Al-Jazeera English correspondent

Al-Jazeera has taken an enormous hit as Middle East protests continue. Correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin tells CPJ what's its like working for the broadcaster. (Sheryl Mendez/CPJ)

For the millions of non-Arabic speakers around the world who followed Egypt's revolution live one journalist stood out--Ayman Mohyeldin of Al-Jazeera English. Mohyeldin, 32, used his knowledge of the region and of the West to make sense of the events unfolding in Cairo's Tahrir Square for an international audience. He also witnessed the unprecedented wave of assaults on journalists by supporters and hired thugs of the crumbling Mubarak regime. Mohyeldin was himself detained while reporting.

Mohyeldin visited CPJ's office in New York March 23 to speak with supporters, friends and staff about the role of the pan-Arab satellite channel since a Tunisian fruit-seller in the town of Sidi Bouzid set himself on fire in December in frustration at the dead hand of political repression. 

March 24, 2011 11:28 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Yemen

Al-Jazeera raided in Sana'a; attacks in Libya, Syria, Bahrain

Demonstrations in Sana'a. (AP/Muhammed Muheisen)

New York, March 22, 2011--Plainclothes gunmen raided Al-Jazeera's Sana'a bureau early this morning, confiscating equipment and obstructing operations, the Qatar-based news channel reported today as a drumbeat of anti-press attacks continued in the region. Arrests, attacks, and harassment were also reported in Libya, Syria and Bahrain in recent days.

Alerts   |   Libya

Times reporters freed in Libya; 13 still missing, detained

New York, March 21, 2011 - CPJ welcomes the release of four New York Times journalists in Libya but remains deeply concerned about 13 other journalists who are either missing or reported in Libyan government custody.

Alerts   |   Libya

In Libya, 4 journalists detained, 3 missing, one killed

An airstrike targets a tank belonging to Qaddafi forces near Benghazi. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

New York, March 20, 2011--Al-Jazeera said today that Libyan authorities have been holding four of its journalists in Tripoli for several days, while Agence-France Presse reported that two of its journalists and a third journalist are missing in eastern Libya. On Saturday, the founder and manager of a Libyan online broadcaster was killed by gunfire while reporting from a battle outside Benghazi. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the ongoing attacks on the press in Libya, and calls on authorities to immediately release all journalists in custody.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Yemen

Hamas attacks Gaza news bureaus; Yemen ousts reporters

New York, March 19, 2011--Hamas security forces raided media bureaus, assaulted journalists, and confiscated journalistic materials in Gaza today, punctuating another day of anti-press attacks in the restive region. In Yemen, authorities expelled two Al-Jazeera correspondents, continuing a pattern of ousting international reporters. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns these attacks on journalists and the efforts of authorities to prevent the world from seeing and reading about crucial international affairs.

March 19, 2011 3:25 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Yemen

In Yemen, a journalist fatally shot, another injured

A protester shot by government forces is carried from the scene.(AP/Muhammed Muheisen)

New York, March 18, 2011--One journalist was fatally shot and another wounded in Sana's today when Yemeni security forces used live ammunition to disperse demonstrators from a central protest area, killing dozens of people. The death of photographer Jamal al-Sharaabi is the first confirmed media fatality in Yemen since political unrest began in January, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  

March 18, 2011 2:15 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Libya, Morocco, Yemen

Bahrain expels CNN reporter, detains WSJ correspondent

Police break up a protest camp in Manama's Pearl Square. (AFP/Joseph Eid)

New York, March 17, 2011--Bahraini authorities expelled a CNN reporter and briefly detained another international reporter on Wednesday amid an intensified crackdown on political unrest. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Bahraini government's ongoing obstruction of news media and calls for authorities to allow journalists to cover this story of international import. Elsewhere in the region, anti-press attacks and harassment continued to be reported in Morocco, Yemen, and Libya.

Blog   |   CPJ, Egypt, Internet, USA

At SXSW Interactive, theory and reality converge

I've just returned from a hectic week at SXSW Interactive, the annual gathering of digital technologists and creators in Austin, Texas. Conferences like this are often moments of isolation from the rest of the world, where attendees become consumed with the trivia of the event itself. But because many of those attending SXSWi are prolific online journalists, bloggers, and social media users, the conference's self-obsession doesn't stay confined to Austin. One tech startup even offered a browser plugin that would hide any Twitter with the "#SXSW" tags to hide the constant chatter from the rest of the world.

March 17, 2011 5:44 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Hamas forces attack journalists covering Gaza protest

A rally calling for reconciliation between the rival Palestinian factions, Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, turned violent on Tuesday. (AP/Hatem Moussa)
New York, March 16, 2011--Hamas security forces attacked local journalists covering a peaceful demonstration calling for Palestinian national unity on Tuesday. At least one journalist was taken to the hospital after being beaten, according to CPJ research. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the violence used against the press and calls on the authorities in Gaza to allow journalists to report freely. 
March 16, 2011 1:58 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Saudi Arabia

Mob damages press in Bahrain; Saudis oust reporter

Saudi troops roll into Bahrain in this still image from Reuters video. (Reuters)

New York, March 15, 2011--Armed assailants stormed the Manama printing facility of the Bahraini independent daily Al-Wasat early this morning, damaging the press and hindering production of today's edition. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the attack, which comes just as military contingents from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been enlisted to help contain political unrest in the kingdom.

March 15, 2011 2:47 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Yemen

As unrest bubbles, Bahrain and Yemen obstruct press

An anti-government protest in Sana'a. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

New York, March 14, 2011--Authorities in Yemen and Bahrain are continuing to obstruct news coverage of ongoing political unrest, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today as it called on the two government to allow journalists to work without reprisal. In Yemen, at least six international journalists were expelled since Saturday, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. In Bahrain, security forces and plainclothes men attacked an Al-Wasat photojournalist covering a demonstration in the capital, Manama. 

March 14, 2011 5:22 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Libya

In Libya, Al-Jazeera journalist killed and another wounded

A pro-Qaddafi fighter raises his fists as a bus carrying journalists passes by during a government-organized visit for foreign media southeast of the capital Tripoli today. (AP/Ben Curtis)
New York, March 13, 2011--Unidentified gunmen killed an Al-Jazeera cameraman and wounded his colleague near the eastern rebel-held city of Benghazi in an ambush on Saturday, according to the Qatar-based satellite station. This is the first confirmed journalist death reported in the Libyan conflict, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Alerts   |   Libya

Libya must free Guardian reporter; obstruction continues

AP

New York, March 11, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for the immediate release of Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, left, a correspondent for London's Guardian newspaper whom Libyan officials now acknowledge holding in detention. CPJ also demands that authorities halt ongoing obstruction and intimidation of journalists. A number of foreign journalists invited to cover events in the capital were prevented today from reporting on anti-government protesters in a Tripoli neighborhood, according to news reports. 

March 11, 2011 3:05 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Libya

Safety advisories for journalists covering Libya

The Libyan conflict is the most recent in a string of dangerous international stories. Several journalists are missing. A BBC crew was detained and subjected to beatings and a mock execution. TV crews report having their equipment seized. The Europe-based International News Safety Institute, a consortium of news organizations and journalist groups including CPJ, is monitoring the evolving security conditions and issuing timely advisories

March 11, 2011 2:42 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Libya

In Libya, 7 journalists unaccounted for, 3 others abused

A government tank outside Zawiya. (AP/Ben Curtis)

New York, March 10, 2011--At least seven journalists covering the conflict in Libya are unaccounted for, according to research by the Committee to Protect Journalists, which expressed deep concern today about their well-being. The most recent to go missing is Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a correspondent for London's Guardian newspaper, whose disappearance was reported today.

March 10, 2011 3:08 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt, Libya, Yemen

CPJ condemns attacks on press in Libya, Yemen, and Egypt

Libyan uprising activists set up a media center headquarters in Benghazi that provides technical support to journalists, documents collected media material, and communicates with foreign media. (AP/Nasser Nasser)

New York, March 9, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by an attack on the Ouzo Hotel in the rebel-held city of Benghazi in eastern Libya on Tuesday. Unknown assailants threw an explosive device into the hotel, which has been the primary residence for journalists in the city, in the early morning hours, according to international news reports. Foreign journalists have also been detained in various towns in Libya by the authorities; all were eventually released. In Yemen, a correspondent was attacked and threats were made against Al-Jazeera. In Egypt, officers beat and injured a local journalist. 

Alerts   |   Iraq

CPJ condemns attack on radio station in Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurdish demonstrators pray in Sulaimaniya following protests. (AFP/Shwan Mohammed)

New York, March 8, 2011--Nearly a dozen gunmen stormed an independent radio station in Sulaimaniya's Kalar district on Sunday, vandalizing the office, breaking most of the equipment, and confiscating the rest. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the assault on Radio Dang and calls on the authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan to thoroughly investigate the attack.  It is the second armed assault on an independent radio station in Sulaimaniya in a less than a month, according to news reports.

March 8, 2011 4:15 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Turkey

CPJ concerned about rash of journalist arrests in Turkey

Two leading investigative journalists, Ahmet Sik, far left, and Nedim Sener, center, arrive at court in Istanbul. (AP/Ozan Guzelce, Milliyet)

New York, March 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the wave of journalist arrests in Turkey in connection with an alleged plot to overthrow the government known as "Ergenekon." At least 12 journalists have been detained in less than a month; and at least nine are currently in custody, according to international news reports. 

Alerts   |   Iraq, Libya

Libya keeps journalists from protests; Iraqi forces beat five

An Iraqi officer hits Al-Alam cameraman Mohammed al-Rased during a demonstration in Basra today. (AP/Nabil al-Jurani)
New York, March 4, 2011--Today in Libya, authorities prevented foreign journalists invited to report in the country from covering the crackdown on protesters in the capital, according to news reports. In southern Iraq, anti-riot police attacked at least five local journalists covering protests in Basra, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Libya

Journalists detained and broadcasts jammed in Libya

Residents cheer as foreign journalists arrive in Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli on Sunday. (AP/Ben Curtis) New York, March 1, 2011--Security forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi continue to detain journalists and jam broadcast frequencies, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Alerts   |   Iraq, Yemen

Yemeni Journalists Syndicate stormed; Baghdad apologizes

Atta (Reuters)

New York, February 28, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the ongoing attempts of governments in the Middle East to censor news coverage of protests. In Yemen, men stormed the Journalists' Syndicate on Saturday, and in Iraq, journalists demanded apologies from the military after a crackdown on the press on Friday, and Baghdad Operations Command offered the apologies on Sunday. 

February 28, 2011 6:14 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iraq, Libya, Yemen

Iraq cracks down on media; violations in Yemen, Libya

Military forces rounded up journalists in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, seen here today. (AP/Karim Kadim) New York, February 25, 2011--The Committee to protect Journalists documented additional attacks today in Iraq, Yemen, and Libya as journalists tried to cover anti-government protests. Iraqi authorities cracked down on media: Security forces stormed a satellite TV office, detained dozens of journalists, and confiscated equipment, according to local journalists and news reports. In Yemen, at least four journalists were detained today, according to local journalists, and Al-Jazeera reported that its crew was prevented from covering demonstrations in Sana'a. Libyan border patrols confiscated cameras and SIM cards of journalists entering Libya from Tunisia, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Iraq, Libya, Syria

Journalists missing in Libya; one killed in Iraq bombing


A screen grab taken from footage broadcast on Libyan state television on February 20 shows a televised address by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's son Saif al-Islam. (AFP/LIBYAN TV)
New York, February 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists remains alarmed by the Libyan government's ongoing, threatening rhetoric against the press, as well as the continued violence against journalists--a number of whom have not been heard from since demonstrations began on February 17. In a separate development, an Iraqi journalist was killed and another reporter injured today in a suicide bombing in Anbar province, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria

Libya: foreign reporters 'outlaws'; Mideast attacks continue

Ziad al-Ajili, head of Baghdad's Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, inspects the aftermath of a raid on his office today. (AP/Hadi Mizban)

New York, February 23, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the ongoing attack on journalists and bloggers in the Middle East. Today the Libyan deputy foreign minister warned foreign journalists crossing the eastern border that they will be treated as "outlaws," according to news reports. In Iraq, gunmen raided the office of a local press freedom group; in Egypt, pro-government supporters attacked a group of local journalists; and in Syria, a young blogger was arrested on Sunday, according to news reports. 

February 23, 2011 5:55 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iraq, Libya, Yemen

Reporter missing in Libya; attacks continue in Yemen, Iraq

Protesters chant anti-government slogans in the main square of Tobruk, Libya, today. (Reuters/Asmaa Waguih)

New York, February 22, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the ongoing deterioration of conditions for the media in the Middle East, including the disappearance of Atef al-Atrash, a critical Libyan journalist, since anti-Qaddafi demonstrations began February 17. The Internet has been intermittently down since Saturday in the country, according to international news reports, and foreign journalists continue to be denied entry. Al-Jazeera's signal in Libya remains jammed, according to the network. In Yemen, security forces confiscated the print run of an independent newspaper and at least one reporter was injured as demonstrations turned violent. And in Iraq, 50 gunmen reportedly shot up an independent television station while the staff of a local newspaper was forced to evacuate their offices.

Blog   |   Bahrain, Egypt, Internet, Libya, Turkey

Libya's disordered Internet

Craig Labowitz at Arbor has been sifting through the evidence of how countries in the Middle East have been blocking and throttling the Internet in the last week. His analysis indicates that while both Bahrain and Yemen had periods of slowed or impaired access, only Libya seems to have taken the drastic step of shutting off the Net entirely.

February 22, 2011 3:52 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Libya, Yemen

Journalists targeted in Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya

New York, February 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities today in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya to cease their attempts to prevent media from reporting on anti-government demonstrations. Bahraini authorities used live ammunition--including fire from a helicopter--against peaceful protesters and journalists, according to news reports. Pro-government thugs attacked at least two journalists in Yemen, and the Libyan government appeared to be shutting down Facebook, Twitter, and Al-Jazeera's website as a means of silencing reporting on protests.

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Iraq, Yemen

Attacks on media continue in Bahrain, Yemen, and Iraq

Bahraini anti-government protesters take a rest from demonstrations in central Manama, Bahrain. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)

New York, February 17, 2011--Authorities in Bahrain and Yemen have escalated their physical attack on the press in order to censor coverage of spreading anti-government protests, the Committee to protect Journalists said today. Also, in Iraq, at least two journalists were attacked by guards for the Kurdistan Democratic Party's building, local journalists told CPJ. 

Alerts   |   Bahrain, Iran, Libya, Yemen

Attacks on media continue across Middle East

Libyan pro-government supporters hold posters of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi during a demonstration in Tripoli. (Reuters/Ismail Zitouny)

New York, February 16, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the continued assaults on journalists covering anti-government demonstrations in the Middle East. In recent days, journalists have been obstructed, assaulted, or detained in Libya, Bahrain, Iran, and Yemen. Authorities have also slowed down Internet connection and blocked websites, according to local journalists.

Blog   |   Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Mexico, Pakistan

Documenting sexual violence against journalists

Jineth Bedoya takes notes in December 2000 under the watch of a bodyguard in Bogotá in an armored car after she was kidnapped, beaten, and raped in April that year. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

The news of the sexual assault against CPJ board member and CBS correspondent Lara Logan hit us hard on Tuesday. At CPJ, we work daily to advocate on behalf of journalists under attack in all kinds of horrific situations around the world. Because of Lara's untiring work with our Journalist Assistance program, she's well known to everyone on our staff.

Alerts   |   CPJ, Egypt

CPJ alarmed by attack on Lara Logan of CBS News

New York, February 15, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by news that CBS correspondent and CPJ board member Lara Logan was sexually assaulted and beaten in Cairo on Friday while covering rallies marking the resignation of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. "We have seen Lara's compassion at work while helping journalists who have faced brutal aggression while doing their jobs," CPJ Chairman Paul Steiger said. "She is a brilliant, courageous, and committed reporter. Our thoughts are with Lara as she recovers."

February 15, 2011 5:11 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Syria

Syrian blogger sentenced to five years in prison

New York, February 15, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the sentencing of blogger Tal al-Mallohi on Monday to five years in prison on state security charges and calls on Syrian authorities to release her immediately. Al-Mallohi, 20, was detained in 2009 and held in extrajudicial detention for close to a year, according to news reports and local press freedom groups.

February 15, 2011 5:00 PM ET

Tags:

Attacks on the Press   |   Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen

Attacks on the Press 2010: Middle East and North Africa Analysis

Suppression Under the Cover of National Security

A police trooper stands guard on a police vehicle outside a state security court in Sanaa, Yemen. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)

By Mohamed Abdel Dayem

Relying on an extensive network of sources in the military, government, and Islamist groups, Yemeni freelance journalist Abdulelah Shaea had become a frequent and pointed critic of the administration's counterterrorism efforts. By July, President Ali Abdullah Saleh's government had enough, dispatching security agents to seize and roughly interrogate Shaea for several hours about his reporting.

Attacks on the Press   |   Egypt

Attacks on the Press 2010: Egypt

Top Developments
• Government blocks satellite TV, news texting ahead of parliamentary vote.
• Political maneuvering seen as critical editor sacked, another jailed.

Key Statistic
12: Satellite television stations taken off the air one month before the election.


Back in 2005, reporters exposed widespread ballot fraud and voter intimidation during the country's first multi-party presidential election. Determined to avoid a repeat of such coverage during the November parliamentary elections, the government blocked satellite television, clamped down on news dissemination techniques, and orchestrated the silencing of critical voices. The ruling National Democratic Party swept the voting amid widespread reports of fraud.

February 15, 2011 12:36 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Iran

Attacks on the Press 2010: Iran

Top Developments
• Authorities sustain their crack- down on critical journalists, arresting dozens.
• Journalists face harsh prison terms and mistreatment in custody.

Key Statistic
34: Journalists imprisoned on December 1. Along with China, Iran is the world's worst jailer of the press.


Defying international condemnation, the government sustained its widespread crackdown on the press, prosecuting journalists arrested in the aftermath of the disputed June 2009 presidential election and detaining additional critical reporters and editors throughout 2010. More than 100 journalists in all had been detained at various times since the crackdown began, CPJ research showed, a campaign of intimidation unparalleled worldwide in more than a decade. The repression came at a time of great global significance that included disputes over Iran's nuclear program and tightening international sanctions.

February 15, 2011 12:31 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Iraq

Attacks on the Press 2010: Iraq

Top Developments
• New press court, politically motivated lawsuits raise alarm.
• As instability festers, five journalists, three support workers are killed.

Key Statistic
$1 billion Damages sought by the Kurdistan Democratic Party from a newspaper that detailed alleged political corruption.


Instability festered throughout the year as political parties wrangled to form a new government after March elections and U.S. troops handed over security to Iraqi forces in August. At least five journalists and three media support workers were killed in relation to their work, reflecting a persistent level of insecurity. Government forces were holding a critical newspaper editor without apparent charge or due process.

February 15, 2011 12:30 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Attacks on the Press 2010: Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Top Developments
• In West Bank, Gaza, journalists face obstruction from all sides.
• Israeli fire kills Lebanese reporter during border clash.

Key Statistic
18: Journalists detained when Israeli forces raided a Gaza-bound aid convoy.


The press operated in a highly polarized environment as Israeli, Hamas, and Fatah officials, all intent on controlling international news coverage, subjected journalists to harassment, detentions, censorship, and severe restrictions on their movements. Tensions peaked in June, when Israeli troops stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip, which was under an Israeli blockade, killing nine passengers and injuring dozens, detaining numerous accompanying reporters, and seizing journalistic material. Israeli authorities accused the organizers of the convoy of subterfuge, while pro-Palestinian activists attempted to use the episode to highlight what they viewed as repressive Israeli policies toward Gaza residents.

February 15, 2011 12:29 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Lebanon

Attacks on the Press 2010: Lebanon

Top Developments
• Tensions rise, media polarized as U.N. special tribunal closes in on indictments.
• Technology bill includes several provisions that could restrict press freedom.

Key Statistic
0: Arrests made in the murders of two journalists and a bomb attack against a third journalist in 2005.


Political tensions grew sharply in late year as the U.N.-sponsored Special Tribunal for Lebanon drew closer to issuing indictments in the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri. In November, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired a documentary--based on what it described as tribunal sources and documents--that said investigators had uncovered evidence against members of Hezbollah, the Shiite paramilitary and political group with ties to Iran and Syria. The potential for indictments against Hezbollah members raised fears of sectarian violence and the collapse of a coalition government in which Hezbollah held a strong minority bloc. In November, the tribunal revised its rules on staging trials in absentia, apparently reflecting concerns that it may be unable to secure the arrests of the named suspects.

February 15, 2011 12:26 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Morocco

Attacks on the Press 2010: Morocco

Top Developments
• Government pressures advertisers, uses courts to punish critical media.
• Authorities obstruct Spanish and other foreign reporters in Western Sahara.

Key Statistic
2: Leading independent weeklies that closed under government pressure. A daily facing harassment moved online.


The government continued using the judiciary to settle scores with critical journalists and pressuring private advertisers to avoid probing publications, two hallmarks of its antagonistic approach to independent and opposition media. The tactics forced two leading independent weeklies to close and a critical daily newspaper to move online.

February 15, 2011 12:24 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Sudan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Sudan

Top Developments
• Censorship intensifies before election; beatings, imprisonments reported.
• Authorities use surveillance, harassment, severe legal restrictions to control news.

Key Statistic
3: Rai al-Shaab journalists imprisoned, one of whom reported being tortured in custody.


Sudanese journalists faced a familiar, toxic combination of censorship, legalistic harassment, and intimidation as a potentially historic national election instead left ruling authorities further entrenched. Self-censorship was widespread among Sudan's beleaguered press, while security agents regularly prevented coverage of topics deemed sensitive, including Darfur, the International Criminal Court (ICC), human rights issues, official corruption, secessionism, and state censorship itself. Repression and political unrest continued after the election as attention turned to a planned 2011 national referendum that could result in full independence for South Sudan. Meanwhile, government restrictions continued to inhibit media coverage of the pressing humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

February 15, 2011 12:14 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Tunisia

Attacks on the Press 2010: Tunisia

Top Developments
• Targeting journalists, government criminalizes contact with foreign organizations.
• Private broadcast licenses are controlled by Ben Ali's family and friends.

Key Statistic
5: Years of imprisonment for violations of new law barring contact with foreign groups.


Tunisia remained one of the region's most repressive nations even as it sought to project an image of liberalism and modernity. The government of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali jailed at least three journalists during the year, one of whom remained in custody when CPJ conducted its annual census of imprisoned journalists on December 1. Vague new legislation targeted critical journalists and human rights defenders by criminalizing international communications that the government deemed harmful to its interests.

February 15, 2011 12:11 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Turkey

Attacks on the Press 2010: Turkey

Top Developments
• Authorities use anti-terror, defamation, security laws to prosecute journalists.
• EU criticizes press record, citing prosecutions, insufficient legal guarantees.

Key Statistic
0: Convictions obtained in the 2007 slaying of editor Hrant Dink.


Authorities paraded journalists into court on anti-terror, criminal defamation, and state security charges as they tried to suppress critical news and commentary on issues involving national identity, the Kurdish minority, and an alleged anti-government conspiracy. The European Court of Human Rights found that Turkish authorities bore culpability in the 2007 slaying of editor Hrant Dink, even as the government struggled to bring anyone to justice in the murder.

February 15, 2011 12:10 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Yemen

Attacks on the Press 2010: Yemen

Top Developments
• Special press and security courts are used to silence probing journalists.
• Redlines bar critical coverage of civil unrest, terrorism, corruption.

Key Statistic
29: Days that reporter Abulelah Shaea was held incommunicado after being seized by security agents.

The government pursued a widening array of repressive tactics, prompting many journalists to say that press freedom conditions had reached their lowest point since the unification of the country's north and south in 1990. Authorities continued to use long-standing practices of extrajudicial abduction, intimidation, threats, and crude censorship to control the news media. But as CPJ documented in a September special report, President Ali Abdullah Saleh's government was also erecting an elaborate legal structure to further restrict coverage and provide a veneer of legitimacy for its actions.

February 15, 2011 12:03 AM ET

Alerts   |   Algeria, Iran, Yemen

Journalists in the Middle East face multiple attacks

A woman walks past riot police standing guard during a demonstration in Algiers on Saturday. (Reuters/Louafi Larbi )

New York, February 14, 2011--As protests spread from Tunisia and Egypt to other countries in the region, journalists have been targeted by security forces, in Yemen, Iran, and Algeria, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Blog   |   Egypt

Courage in documenting Egypt's revolution

Soldiers and children celebrate in Tahrir Square. (AP/Ben Curtis)

Today, on its 18th day, the Egyptian revolution has finally achieved its goal, deposing Hosni Mubarak and his regime. Egyptian journalists who have courageously found ways to work under the yoke of Mubarak's censorship and repression are releasing a sigh of relief that they've held in for three long decades. 

February 11, 2011 5:14 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Iran

More than 1,000 supporters urge Iran to end crackdown

Davari (RAHANA)

New York, February 10, 2011--As Iran marks the 32nd anniversary of the country's revolution on February 11, the Committee to Protect Journalists and more than 1,000 press freedom supporters delivered a clear message to Iranian Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei today: Free your country's imprisoned journalists.

Blog   |   Egypt

Reporter goes inside Egypt's Mukhabarat torture regime

When Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reporter Robert Tait was taken into custody by Egyptian authorities at a police checkpoint near central Cairo on February 4, he didn't know he'd become witness to torture. But, cuffed and blindfolded for 28 hours, Tait heard and saw beatings and electrocutions. "My experience, while highly personal, wasn't really about me or the foreign media," Tait writes in the U.K. Guardian. " It was about gaining an insight--if that is possible behind a blindfold--into the inner workings of the Mubarak regime." It is exactly that kind of insight that can be gained when reporters are allowed to do their jobs, and it is why CPJ exists--to fiercely defend the rights of journalists to do their work. Take a read of our recent Egypt coverage here to get a sense of the massive scale in which journalists have been attacked and detained, and see Tait's whole piece in the Guardian here.

February 10, 2011 10:37 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt

Government obstruction, intimidation continues in Cairo

Protesters in Tahrir Square. (AP/Emilio Morenatti)

New York, February 9, 2011--Egyptian authorities are obstructing international news coverage of the country's political crisis by withholding press credentials and, in one instance, invading the home of a foreign journalist, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A well-known Egyptian blogger also remains unaccounted for after being seized by suspected government agents earlier this week.

February 9, 2011 3:43 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Jordan

In Jordan, website hacked after running sensitive statement

New York, February 9, 2011--A Jordanian news website was hacked on Sunday after it refused to comply with demands from security agents to remove a critical statement from Jordanian tribesmen, the outlet said. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Jordanian authorities to immediately investigate the attack on Ammon News, one of the most popular news websites in Jordan.

February 9, 2011 10:00 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudanese security agents must free Al-Midan workers

New York, February 8, 2011--Sudanese security forces on Wednesday detained 12 employees of the pro-opposition weekly Al-Midan, according to local journalists and news reports. Two were released the same day, but 10 continue to be held incommunicado nearly a week later. The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the welfare of the newspaper employees and calls on Sudanese authorities to release them immediately. 

February 8, 2011 3:39 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Egypt

CPJ's Simon on Huffington Post: What is at stake in Egypt

CPJ's executive director lays out "What Is at Stake With Egypt's Media Crackdown" in a February 3 piece on the Huffington Post. Joel Simon writes: "With no witnesses, those undertaking the violence in Egypt will have a free hand to carry out their brutal campaign without restraint. Standing up for the rights of journalists at this crucial moment may be our last, best hope of stemming an impending bloodbath that could go down in history as the gravest example of political repression." Read the rest of his article here.

February 8, 2011 12:02 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Egypt

CPJ's Abdel Dayem talks Egypt on Democracy Now!

CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem spoke to Democracy Now! on February 5 about the deteriorating environment for journalists in Egypt. He told host Amy Goodman that state news outlets have become something unrecognizable: "State-owned media are no longer engaged in the business of news," Abdel Dayem said. "They are there to propagate things that are simply not true. " See the rest here:

February 8, 2011 10:11 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt

Egypt: New accreditation rules; military obstructs media

Protesters gather around army vehicles in Cairo's Tahrir Square. (Reuters)

New York, February 7, 2011--Egyptian authorities have shifted their strategy for obstructing the press as protests enter their 14th day: The military has become the predominant force detaining journalists and confiscating their equipment rather than plainclothes police or government supporters, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Authorities have also put in place new bureaucratic obstacles for journalists covering the anti-Mubarak protests on Tahrir Square, with the military instructing reporters to seek new press credentials from the government.

Alerts   |   Egypt

Egyptian media say foreign journalists have 'hidden agenda'

An Egyptian general walks through protests in Tahrir Square. (AP)

New York, February 5, 2011--As journalists face ongoing attacks and detentions in Cairo, they are increasingly concerned that state broadcasts are creating an atmosphere that is encouraging violence against the media, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. State television and radio, along with pro-Mubarak private stations, are giving frequent airtime to presenters and guests who claim that foreigners, including international journalists, have a "hidden agenda" against the government, according to CPJ research. Local journalists have been called "infidels" for working with international media while Al-Jazeera has been accused of "inciting the people." 

Alerts   |   Egypt

Cairo attacks continue; reporter dies from earlier shooting

AP photographer Khalil Hamra is injured in Tahrir Square on Thursday. (AP Photo/Mohammed Abed)New York, February 4, 2011--Journalists in Cairo faced assaults, detentions, and threats again today as supporters of President Hosni Mubarak continued their efforts to obstruct news coverage of protests demanding the Egyptian leader's ouster. While the extent of attacks lessened after a peak on Thursday, ongoing anti-press activities remain at an alarming level that must be halted, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. In addition, a journalist shot a week ago while filming a demonstration died today, a state newspaper reported, and Al-Jazeera reported that security agents detained the network's Cairo bureau chief along with another journalist.

Alerts   |   Egypt

Mubarak intensifies press attacks with assaults, detentions

SIPA Press agency photojournalist Alfred Yaghobzadeh is treated by anti-government protesters after being wounded during clashes in Cairo. (AP)

New York, February 3, 2011--Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak unleashed an unprecedented and systematic attack on international media today as his supporters assaulted reporters in the streets while security forces began obstructing and detaining journalists covering the unrest that threatens to topple his government. 

Alerts   |   Egypt

Journalists under physical assault in Egypt

Outside the Journalists' Syndicate in Cairo. (AP)

New York, February 2, 2011--Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak have begun violently attacking journalists reporting on the streets of Cairo today, a shift in tactics from recent media censorship, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. CPJ calls on the Egyptian military to provide protection for journalists.

"The Egyptian government is employing a strategy of eliminating witnesses to their actions," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "The government has resorted to blanket censorship, intimidation, and today a series of deliberate attacks on journalists carried out by pro-government mobs. The situation is frightening not only because our colleagues are suffering abuse but because when the press is kept from reporting, we lose an independent source of crucial information."

Blog   |   Egypt, Internet

Egypt rejoins the Net

Internet connectivity has been restored to Egypt, though it's hard to tell from the outside just how reliable that connection is. Monitoring organizations Renesys and BGPMon provide technical details on their blogs. For a more dynamic display, RIPE, the community which helps co-ordinate the European Internet, has a live graph of the numbers of Internet routes to Egypt which currently shows the country's return.

February 2, 2011 2:05 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Egypt

Mideast stations circumvent Al-Jazeera blockage

Journalists remain hampered by lack of phone and Internet service, but Egyptians are finding their own ways to get the news in Cairo. (AP)

As massive protests endure throughout Egypt, the regime continues to disrupt the media as well as phone and Internet service. CPJ is closely following the censorship of the news, and will update on our blog today as developments break. Here's what's new:

Blog   |   Egypt

Government lies are exposed in Egypt's Tahrir Square

Protesters have created impromptu news theaters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, seen here. (Reuters)

Hosni Mubarak's regime has had 29 years to perfect its always brazen but never convincing justifications for repressing journalists who expose the travesties he and his henchmen regularly visit upon the people of Egypt. It has also long enlisted state-owned media to disseminate the ruling party's half-truths and outright lies. But over the past week, Mubarak's propaganda machine has hit a new low. 

February 1, 2011 12:18 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   China, Egypt

China limits reporting on Egypt unrest in favor of 'harmony'

Chinese information authorities are filtering results of Chinese-language Internet searches for "Egypt" and "Cairo," according to Global Voices Online and The Wall Street Journal. The unrest raging there could prompt comparison with the student-led protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 or incite anti-government demonstrations.

January 31, 2011 6:01 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt

CPJ demands Egypt halt obstruction, restore Internet, SMS

New York, January 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Egyptian government to stop obstructing reporters' work and to immediately return equipment confiscated from Al-Jazeera and other news outlets. Internet and SMS messages services remain disabled and must be restored without delay, CPJ said today. 

Alerts   |   Egypt, Sudan, Yemen

Attacks on journalists in Yemen, Sudan amid street protests

Tawakol Karman, the chairwoman of Women Journalists Without Chains, shouts during an anti-government protest in Sanaa on Saturday. (Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters)
New York, January 31, 2011--Journalists in the Middle East are experiencing increased harassment amid rapidly spreading street protests throughout the region, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ is gravely concerned about reports of attacks against journalists not only in Egypt, as CPJ has previously reported, but also in Yemen and Sudan.

Alerts   |   Egypt

Egypt blocks Al-Jazeera transmissions, orders bureaus shut

New York, January 30, 2011--Nilesat, the satellite transmission company owned by the Egyptian Radio and Television Union and other government agencies, has stopped transmitting the signal of Al-Jazeera's primary channel, the station and others reported today. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the actions of Egyptian authorities to disrupt media coverage by Al-Jazeera and calls on them to reverse the decision immediately. 

January 30, 2011 8:27 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Egypt

Egypt instigates media blackout, police target journalists

Plainclothes police chase what Reuters says is unidentified foreign journalist today in Cairo. (Reuters /Goran Tomasevic )

New York, January 28, 2011--Egyptian authorities have taken unprecedented measures to block media coverage of widespread protests against the government, which are on their fourth day. CPJ condemns Cairo's news blackout and calls for authorities to immediately restore Internet and mobile phone services, end the targeting of the press, and allow media to conduct their work freely. 

Alerts   |   Egypt

Journalists beaten, websites blocked amid protests in Egypt

New York, January 26, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the violence against journalists covering demonstrations in Egypt. Plainclothes and uniformed security personnel have beaten at least 10 journalists between Tuesday and today and detained others. Egyptian authorities have also shut down the websites of two popular independent newspapers and a number of social media sites. 

Blog   |   Egypt

Detained UK reporter records riots in Egypt

Riot police clash with protesters in Cairo today. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

As anti-government demonstrations continue in Cairo, Jack Shenker, a reporter for the U.K. Guardian, has captured some remarkable audio. Shenker, dragged around, punched and abused, was taken into a security truck with protesters on Tuesday night--then he turned on his recorder. He describes how "police have been incredibly violent" and how in the hot, tightly packed truck, several people fainted. Click here to hear his story.

January 26, 2011 1:03 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Egypt, Internet

Preventing video takedowns when reporting

Watching the stream of reporting from Egypt today, I've noticed some unconfirmed reports that videos of the events uploaded to YouTube have been taken down by the company.

I haven't been able to find any concrete examples, so I can't say whether this is true. YouTube takedowns did happen for a few of the more disturbing footage in the Tunisian protests, however, so I thought I'd give some general advice for preventing such removals.

In general, if you're uploading video that includes violence or upsetting imagery, YouTube may remove your content as a simple violation of its Terms of Service and Community Guidelines rather than consider its importance in a wider news context.

In its Community Guidelines, YouTube writes:
"The world is a dangerous place. Sometimes people do get hurt and it's inevitable that these events may be documented on YouTube. However, it's not okay to post violent or gory content that's primarily intended to be shocking, sensational or disrespectful. If a video is particularly graphic or disturbing, it should be balanced with additional context and information. For instance, including a clip from a slaughter house in a video on factory farming may be appropriate. However, stringing together unrelated and gruesome clips of animals being slaughtered in a video may be considered gratuitous if its purpose is to shock rather than illustrate."

What this means is that context is important. When you are using YouTube in your reporting, the best context you can provide is a detailed explanation in the Title, Description and Tags when you upload the video. Your audience may know what is going on because you are linking from your news site or blog, but YouTube's staff will not. Even a link back to your main writing will help.

Most importantly, don't use misleading descriptions or tags in an attempt to get more views. A scene from a street demonstration that is tagged "Lady Gaga" in order to catch a wider audience will simply result in your video being deleted.

Less likely in cases of reporting live events is an accusation of copyright infringement. YouTube does have an automatic content-detection system that can sometimes be triggered by music or movie imagery included in a video. EFF has a detailed document on restoring videos if you think that may be the problem.

If you do have journalistic content taken down by a hosting provider, whether it's video, a blog, or an entire website, do let me know (I'm dobrien at cpj.org, or @danny_at_cpj on Twitter). I can't always help in every case, but sometimes being able to see a trend in takedowns means I can warn these hosts that they're making a mistake - or warn off journalists from depending on their sites.

(Thanks to Jillian York at the Berkman Center for much of the advice in this post. Victoria Grand, YouTube's senior management for communications, spoke at the GlobalVoices Citizen Media Summit last year, and discussed how their takedown process works in some detail, with a particular eye to reporting and activism in countries like Egypt. If you want to know more details, I'd recommend watching the video of her talk.)

January 25, 2011 3:39 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Tunisia

Tunisian TV station's suspension reflects tenuous freedom

On Sunday, the privately owned broadcaster Hannibal TV was forced off the air for more than three hours. The state-owned news agency Agence Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) issued a statement stating that an arrest warrant had been issued for the station's owner on charges of "high treason" for an alleged "plot to destabilize national security." The statement accused the owner of using the Hannibal broadcasts to undermine Tunisia's stability. 

January 25, 2011 11:13 AM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Internet, Tunisia

Will Tunisia's 'Internet revolution' endure?

There has been a great deal written online about how much of a positive role the Internet played in recent events in Tunisia (if you'd like to catch up, Alex Howard's link round-up provides a good summary of the many sides, both for and against). At CPJ, our focus is on slightly different questions: How did the repression of the Internet hamper the ability to safely gather news, report and analyze such events? Did that repression grow worse in the dying days of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's government? Will it improve in the future?

January 25, 2011 10:31 AM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Tunisia

Freed! Fahem Boukadous released in Tunisia

For those who have spent countless hours exposing and combating Tunisia's vast press freedom abuses, today is truly a glorious day. Tunisian authorities released the ailing imprisoned journalist Fahem Boukadous, a day after CPJ called on the transitional government to honor its pledge to free all political prisoners. Today, we can loudly proclaim that no journalist or blogger is imprisoned in the government's dungeons and that Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's censorship is no longer imposed on Tunisians. 

January 19, 2011 9:16 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Yemen

Yemeni journalist who covers Al-Qaeda given jail sentence

Reuters
New York, January 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the sentencing on Tuesday of prominent Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Hider Shaea on charges of aiding Al-Qaeda. Shaea, at left, who developed expertise on Islamist groups including Al-Qaeda during his career, was given five years in prison. In conjunction with numerous journalists and rights activists in Yemen, CPJ calls on President Ali Abdullah Saleh to pardon Shaea and release him without delay.

Shaea was found guilty of "belonging to an illegal armed organization" and "recruiting young people, including foreigners, to the organization by communicating with them via the Internet," the pan-Arab daily Al-Quds al-Arabi reported
January 19, 2011 3:16 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Tunisia

In Tunisia, one journalist still jailed, another killed

Dolega, center standing, is seen on assignment in 2008. He died from head injuries suffered while covering street protests in Tunis. (Reuters/Charles Platiau)

New York, January 18, 2011--Tunisia's transitional government should immediately release Fahem Boukadous, a television reporter imprisoned last year in reprisal for his work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ also offered condolences to the family and colleagues of French photographer Lucas Mebrouk Dolega, who died of head injuries suffered while covering the civil unrest in the capital, Tunis.

January 18, 2011 4:24 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Tunisia

As Ben Ali's regime falls, 3 Tunisian journalists freed

New York, January 14, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is heartened by news reports that three jailed Tunisian journalists have been freed as the repressive regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has fallen. CPJ calls on the new interim Tunisian government to release one other journalist believed to be still in custody. 

January 14, 2011 8:51 PM ET

Tags:

Letters   |   Saudi Arabia

Saudi online media regulations alarmingly restrictive

Dear Minister al-Khuja: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about new regulations for online media you issued on January 1. The rules contain several provisions that can be used to restrict coverage. The provisions are vaguely worded, contain numerous loopholes, and grant the Ministry of Culture and Information blanket powers without providing online media protection against abuse. Most alarmingly, the new regulations would also subject online media to the kingdom's already existing highly repressive press law.

January 14, 2011 10:41 AM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Tunisia

Tunisia must end crackdown on media

New York, January 12, 2010--Tunisian authorities must end their weeks-long crackdown on bloggers and reporters covering street protests, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Scores of journalists have been detained in the past four weeks, three of whom remain in custody. Local and international reporters have faced continued harassment, including detention, restrictions on movement, and denial of entry into the country. CPJ calls on Tunis to release the imprisoned journalists immediately, grant access to the international press, and allow local reporters to cover the unrest without interference.
January 12, 2011 4:02 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Turkey

Kurdish journalist given 138 years in prison in Turkey

New York, January 10, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged by the conviction and outlandish sentencing of Emine Demir, the former editorial manager of the Kurdish-language daily Azadiya WelatDemir was given 138 years in prison in connection with dozens of articles in the paper. CPJ called today for Turkish authorities to overturn the sentence on appeal and end the persecution of journalists working for Azadiya Welat, the only Kurdish daily in Turkey.
January 10, 2011 4:54 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Internet, Tunisia

Tunisia invades, censors Facebook, other accounts

Tunisian authorities have tried to censor photos just like this one, which shows civil unrest in Tunis. (AFP/Fethi Belaid)

The Tunisian government has been a notorious censor for many years, for journalists online and off. In the wake of widespread domestic protests in December, however, the authorities appear to have turned to even more repressive tactics to silence reporting. In the case of Internet bloggers, this includes what seems a remarkably invasive and technically sophisticated plan to steal passwords from the country's own citizens, in order to spy on private communications and squelch online speech.

January 5, 2011 12:48 PM ET

Tags:

Letters   |   Tunisia

Tunisia must end censorship on coverage of unrest

Dear President Ben Ali: The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by your government's attempt to censor coverage of recent protests against unemployment and corruption in Tunisia. We are specifically alarmed by the confiscation of two opposition weeklies, the government's denunciation of Al-Jazeera, the systematic obstruction of reporting and broadcasting, as well as the blocking of news websites that are covering the protests. We call on your government to bring to an immediate end to its efforts to curtail independent reporting and to reverse course on the restrictions in place since mid-December.

January 5, 2011 12:27 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Yemen

A year after siege, Al-Ayyam is sorely missed in Yemen

Bullet holes, bottom right, scar the walls of the now-shuttered newspaper Al-Ayyam. (CPJ/Mohamed Abdel Dayem)

Today marks the anniversary of the beginning of the multiday siege by Yemeni police and security personnel of the compound that houses the offices of the independent daily Al-Ayyam. During its assault on the headquarters of the critical daily, the government used automatic machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and heavy weaponry. The siege and the ensuing violence was apparently initiated in response to journalists from Al-Ayyam and other outlets conducting a sit-in outside the compound to protest the daily's suspension since May. 

January 4, 2011 4:14 PM ET

Tags:

« 2010 | 2012 »