Middle East & North Africa

2012


Reports   |   Journalist Assistance, Multimedia, Syria

Video: Risk, reward, and loss in Syria

Syrian leaders tried to impose a media blackout on the country's civil war. They failed. As CPJ's Dahlia El-Zein reports, foreign journalists responded by smuggling themselves into the country, while Syrians picked up cameras and uploaded videos online. They all did so at extreme risk. (4:13)

Read CPJ's special report on journalists killed in Syria and worldwide in 2012. And visit our interactive database.

Blog   |   Iraq, Security, Somalia, Syria

Combat deaths at a high, risks shift for journalists

Ambulances carry the bodies of Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik, who were killed in government shelling in Syria. (Reuters/Khaled al-Hariri)

Murder is the leading cause of work-related deaths among journalists worldwide--and this year was no exception. But the death toll in 2012 continued a recent shift in the nature of journalist fatalities worldwide. More journalists were killed in combat situations in 2012 than in any year since 1992, when CPJ began keeping detailed records.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

Journalists still murdered where impunity reigns

(AFP/Pedro Pardo)

Almost half of the 67 journalists killed worldwide in 2012 were targeted and murdered for their work, research by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows. The vast majority covered politics. Many also reported on war, human rights, and crime. In almost half of these cases, political groups are the suspected source of fire. There has been no justice in a single one of these deaths.

December 18, 2012 12:00 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Four Palestinian journalists assaulted by Israeli soldiers

New York, December 14, 2012--Israeli soldiers assaulted four Palestinian journalists and forced them to strip naked at a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday, according to news reports. Two of the journalists worked for Reuters, and two for local Palestinian news outlets, the reports said.

Blog   |   Security, Sri Lanka

Integrity vs. authenticity in video journalism

A still from the video showing a Sri Lankan soldier about to execute a prisoner. (AFP/Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka)

Back in November 2010, Britain's Channel 4 broadcast a leaked video that appears to show men in Sri Lankan military uniforms executing bound prisoners, the camera panning across a series of bodies laid out in a ditch. Family and friends identified one of those bodies as that of Tamil Tiger TV newscaster Shoba, also known as Isaipriya. If authenticated, the video could constitute evidence that Isaipriya was murdered. It would be one step toward accountability in a long string of unsolved murders of journalists in Sri Lanka. It would also be evidence of war crimes that are said to have been committed during the final phases of the 27-year civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE. But disputes have ensued between the United Nations, which claims the video is authentic, and the Sri Lankan government, which claims that it is fake.

Blog   |   CPJ, Ethiopia, Journalist Assistance

Video: Campaign to free the press

(CNN)

The imprisonment of journalists hit a record high in 2012, driven by the growing use of anti-terrorism charges to silence critical voices. This video, a centerpiece of CPJ's new Free the Press campaign, details the plight of imprisoned journalists worldwide and describes how international advocacy can make a difference in winning the freedom of jailed reporters, editors, photojournalists, and bloggers. (4:40)

Read our special report "Number of jailed journalists sets global record" and view our database of journalists in prison.

December 11, 2012 12:00 AM ET

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Blog

On Human Rights Day, make your voice heard on impunity

In 1950, the United Nations General Assembly declared December 10 Human Rights Day in commemoration of the adoption and proclamation two years earlier of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every year, on this day, the U.N. chooses one right to highlight and advocate. This year, Human Rights Day is focused on the right of all people to make their voices heard. This is not possible when journalists worldwide are being murdered.

Alerts   |   Egypt

Journalists attacked while covering protests in Egypt

Demonstrators protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo. (AFP/Mahmoud Khaled)

New York, December 7, 2012--CPJ condemns a series of attacks on journalists covering protests in Cairo over the proposed constitution and calls on authorities to investigate the assaults and bring an immediate end to the anti-press violence. At least five journalists were struck by rubber bullets, leaving one in critical condition, and several others were assaulted, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Brazil, CPJ, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia

Speak Justice campaign fights impunity in press murders

The tortured and decapitated body of 39-year-old María Elizabeth Macías Castro was found on a Saturday evening in September 2011. It had been dumped by the side of a road in Nuevo Laredo, a Mexican border town ravaged by the war on drugs. Macías, a freelance journalist, wrote about organized crime on social media under the pseudonym "The Girl from Laredo." Her murder, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, was the first in which a journalist was killed in direct relation for reporting published on social media. It remains unsolved.

Alerts   |   Egypt

Proposed Egyptian constitution would limit media freedom

In protest of the proposed constitution, the front page of Al-Masry al-Youm has a black background and the headline, "No to dictatorship." (AP/Nasser Nasser)

New York, December 4, 2012--The proposed Egyptian constitution would impose several new restrictions on press freedom--including the creation of a new government regulator and new governmental authority to shut media outlets--while doing nothing to halt the criminal prosecution of journalists, which was a hallmark of the Hosni Mubarak regime, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ supports the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate's call to President Mohamed Morsi to withdraw the proposal from the referendum scheduled for December 15.

Letters   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israel must explain targeting of journalists in Gaza

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu: The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned that Israeli airstrikes targeted individual journalists and media facilities in the Gaza Strip between November 18 and 20. Journalists and media outlets are protected under international law in military conflict.

Blog   |   Internet, Syria

Syria's desperate move to cut links won't succeed

This image provided by Edlib News Network shows an anti-Syrian regime protester holding up a placard reading: 'the victory fingers over the Place (the presidential palace),' during a demonstration at Binnish village, Idlib province, on Friday. (AP/Edlib News Network ENN)

The Syrian Internet, like the country, appears to have been collapsing into a patchwork of unconnected systems for some time. I spent time talking to Syrians tech activists this week in Tunisia before Thursday's shutdown, and their reports from the front painted a picture of two different networks.

November 30, 2012 1:52 PM ET

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Blog   |   Philippines

To fight impunity, cycle of fear, silence must be broken

Three years ago, on November 23, 2009, 30 journalists and two media workers were brutally killed in the southern Philippine city of Maguindanao while travelling in a convoy with the family and supporters of a local politician. To this day, not a single suspect has been convicted, though local authorities have identified close to 200. The botched trial has been stalled with procedural hurdles. Victims' families have been threatened and key witnesses have been slain.

November 23, 2012 9:00 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Three journalists killed in airstrikes in Gaza

New York, November 20, 2012--Two Israeli airstrikes killed three journalists in the Gaza Strip today, according to news reports. The fatal attacks followed a series of Israeli strikes earlier in the week that injured at least nine journalists and damaged news outlets.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

In Gaza, news outlets targeted, journalists injured

Firefighters extinguish a blaze on the tower housing local and international media on the Gaza Strip. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

New York, November 19, 2012--Israeli authorities must immediately halt airstrikes targeting news media offices in the Gaza Strip, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today following a series of strikes that injured at least nine journalists and damaged several offices.

Alerts   |   Syria, Ukraine

Video emerges of Ukrainian journalist captive in Syria

A still from the November 7 video. (YouTube)

New York, November 14, 2012--A Ukrainian journalist who was kidnapped in Syria in mid-October appeared in a short video last week pleading for her embassy to meet the demands of her captors, according to news reports. At least two other international journalists are believed to be held captive in Syria and the whereabouts of a third are unknown, according to CPJ research.

Blog   |   Brazil, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Security, Somalia, Syria

Will UN plan address impunity, security for journalists?

A woman stands next to a banner reading "No more impunity" in Colombia. (AFP/Raul Arboleda)

Here are the facts:

  • A journalist is killed in the line of duty somewhere around the world once every eight days.
  • Nearly three out of four are targeted for murder. The rest are killed in the crossfire of combat, or on dangerous assignments such as street protests.
  • Local journalists constitute the large majority of victims in all groups.
  • The murderers go unpunished in about nine out of 10 cases.
  • The overall number of journalists killed, and the number of journalists murdered, have each climbed since the 1990s.

Alerts   |   Iran

CPJ demands Iran explain imprisoned blogger's death

New York, November 9, 2012--Iranian authorities must immediately explain the sudden death of imprisoned blogger Sattar Beheshti, who had previously complained about severe mistreatment in custody, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ also demands that the government launch a full investigation into the suspicious death and to immediately halt its intense harassment of the victim's family.

November 9, 2012 4:08 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudanese journalist found after being abducted, tortured

Hundosa was found on the side of the road with her head shaved. (Somaya Ibrahim Ismail Hundosa)

New York, November 5, 2012--A critical Sudanese freelance journalist was found on the side of a road in Khartoum on Friday after being reported missing on October 29, according to news reports. Somaya Ibrahim Ismail Hundosa had been tortured and her head shaved while she was held captive, the reports said.

Hundosa was found in a remote area of the capital, news reports said. Her family said that she had been subjected to "physical torture and beating with whips" and that she had been told her head was shaved because "it looked like the hair of Arabs while she belonged to the slaves in Darfur," according to the pro-democracy group Grifina (We Are Fed Up). The journalist is now recovering at home with her family.

Blog   |   Belarus, CPJ, Philippines, Russia

Twenty-three days to take action against impunity

Approximately 30 journalists are targeted and murdered every year, and on average, in only three of these crimes are the killers ever brought to justice. Other attacks on freedom of expression occur daily: bloggers are threatened, photographers beaten, writers kidnapped. And in those instances, justice is even more rare. Today, the Committee to Protect Journalists joins freedom of expression advocates worldwide in a 23-day campaign to dismantle one case at a time a culture of impunity that allows perpetrators to gag journalists, bloggers, photographers and writers, while keeping the rest of us uninformed.

Alerts   |   Lebanon, Syria

Lebanese journalist abducted by rebel group in Syria

New York, October 29, 2012--A rebel group abducted a Lebanese journalist in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, bringing to at least five the number of international journalists being held captive by various sides of the conflict. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the journalists' captors to immediately release them and stop targeting members of the press who are covering the unrest in the region.

Alerts   |   Egypt

Egyptian court sentences journalist to jail for defamation

New York, October 25, 2012--An Egyptian appellate court should strike down the criminal defamation conviction and prison term handed down this week against a television commentator, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Alerts   |   Bahrain

Bahrain acquits officer on charges of torturing a journalist

New York, October 24, 2012--CPJ is alarmed by a Bahraini court's acquittal of a police officer accused of torturing a journalist in custody in 2011.

A criminal court in Manama on Monday acquitted police officer Sara al-Moussa on charges of torturing Nazeeha Saeed, a reporter for France24 and Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, while the journalist was in custody in May 2011, according to the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA). The agency reported that the court ruled that Saeed's testimony was full of "contradictions" and not "consistent." Saeed told CPJ that she and her lawyer are urging prosecutors to reopen the case.

Blog   |   CPJ, UK

London statement urges strong steps to protect journalists

The London symposium brought together, from left, International Press Institute's Galina Sidorova; BBC's Peter Horrocks; William Horsley of Centre for Freedom of the Media; Guy Berger, UNESCO; and Rodney Pinder, International News Safety Institute. (Centre for Freedom of the Media)

More than 40 media organizations worldwide are demanding urgent action by governments, the United Nations, and the industry to stop violence against journalists and end impunity in attacks on the press. They made their position known in a joint statement delivered today to the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Case   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israeli soldiers arrest two Palestinian journalists

On October 10, 2012, Israeli soldiers raided the home of Mohammed Atallah al-Tamimi, a Palestinian journalist for the private Tamimi Press Agency in the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, according to news reports. Al-Tamimi was arrested and taken to an unknown location, news reports said. Authorities have not disclosed his whereabouts, condition, or the charges against him.

Alerts   |   Syria, Ukraine

One journalist killed, another reported missing in Syria

New York, October 16, 2012--The heavy toll on news media covering the conflict in Syria has grown yet again over the past week as a journalist for a pro-government TV station was killed and a Ukrainian journalist working for Russian news outlets is believed to be kidnapped.

Blog   |   France, Libya, Syria

At Bayeux, war correspondents stress duty to report

Winners of this year's Bayeux-Calvados prizes, which largely recognized reporting in Libya and Syria, are honored in Bayeux, France. (Anne-Marie Impe)

Syria and Libya were the main themes at the 19th edition of the Bayeux-Calvados Prize for War Correspondents, which took place this weekend in the historical city of Bayeux, a few miles away from the Normandy beaches where Allied forces landed in June 1944 to liberate Europe from the Nazi yoke.

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran steps up its campaign against the press

New York, October 3, 2012--In a flurry of new anti-press actions in Iran, a jury has voted to convict a Reuters bureau chief on anti-state charges while authorities have jailed the head of the state's official news agency, blocked Google services, and shut one reformist newspaper.

Alerts   |   Syria

In Syria, journalists killed, injured by sniper fire

Press TV reported that Maya Naser, one of its correspondents, was killed by sniper fire today. (AFP/Press TV)

New York, September 26, 2012--Iran's Press TV has reported that one of its correspondents, Maya Naser, was killed today while reporting on twin explosions and ensuing clashes in Damascus. The state-run station also said that its Damascus bureau chief, Hussein Mortada, was wounded in the same sniper fire and attributed both shootings to insurgents.

September 26, 2012 3:36 PM ET

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Blog   |   Tunisia

Receding hopes for press freedom in Tunisia

Tunisian journalists from Assabah call for more freedom at a protest in Tunis on September 11, 2012. (AFP/Khalil)

These days, press freedom in Tunisia feels ever more distant.

Many journalists believed that media freedoms, which were virtually nonexistent under former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, would grow after his ouster. During the aftermath of the December 2010 uprising, an independent press blossomed and special commissions were set up to reform the media sector. But since the elected government took office nine months ago, the tide has slowly reversed.

Alerts   |   Syria

Syrian journalist killed in city of Hama

New York, September 21, 2012--Syrian security forces launched an assault Wednesday on the home of a cameraman who had recorded hundreds of videos on the country's conflict, burning the house and killing the journalist and three of his friends, local activists told international news outlets. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the brutal attack and calls on all sides to stop targeting journalists.

Alerts   |   Lebanon

Lebanon must free a journalist detained without charge

New York, September 14, 2012--Authorities must immediately release journalist Rami Aysha who has been detained without charge and abused since being seized more than two weeks ago while investigating alleged arms smuggling in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Alerts   |   Bahrain

Critical Bahraini journalist detained for four months

New York, September 13, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the ongoing imprisonment of Ahmed Radhi, a freelance journalist who was first detained four months ago after making critical comments about Bahraini-Saudi relations. Radhi now faces terrorism and other anti-state charges which he says were lodged after he was abused and forced into making a false confession.

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran persists in its crackdown against journalists

New York, September 12, 2012--Continuing their three-year-long clampdown on journalists covering human rights, minority groups, and political reform, Iranian authorities have summoned two journalists to begin prison terms and are bringing two others to trial.

Blog   |   Security

In Cryptocat, lessons for technologists and journalists

Alhamdulillah! Finally, a technologist designed a security tool that everyone could use. A Lebanese-born, Montreal-based computer scientist, college student, and activist named Nadim Kobeissi had developed a cryptography tool, Cryptocat, for the Internet that seemed as easy to use as Facebook Chat but was presumably far more secure.

September 11, 2012 12:12 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Bahrain

Bahrain should scrap life sentence of blogger Alsingace

New York, September 6, 2012--Bahraini authorities should toss out the unjust conviction and life sentence handed to an online journalist who was imprisoned for exercising his right to free expression during the country's 2011 popular uprising, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Alerts   |   Jordan

In Jordan, proposed amendments to censor Internet

New York, August 31, 2012--Proposed legislation in Jordan would impose significant new restrictions on online news content and reader comments while giving authorities new powers to block domestic and international websites. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the lower house of parliament to reject the bill when it takes up debate on Sunday.

August 31, 2012 2:21 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet

Dear CPJ: Some malware from your 'friend'

An analyst looks at malware code in a lab. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

We talk a lot about hacking attacks against individual journalists here, but what typifies an attempt to access a reporter's computer? Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director, received an email last week that reflects some characteristics of a malware attack against a journalist or activist. There was nothing particularly notable about the targeting. (Like many reporters, CPJ receives such attempts occasionally). The attack failed at the first fence, and my casual investigation into the source was inconclusive. There are no shocking answers or big headlines to draw from this attack. But it does illustrate a contemporary reality: Opportunistic assailants regularly shower journalists with software attacks.

Alerts   |   Tunisia

Arrest warrant issued for Tunisian TV director

Tunisian authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Sami Fehri. (AFP)

New York, August 29, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about an arrest warrant issued against the head of a Tunisian television station, whose news and programming are often seen as critical of the current government.

Alerts   |   Syria

Video shows Turkish cameraman held captive in Syria

A screen grab of the video. (AFP/Al-Ikhbariya)

New York, August 27, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for the immediate release of Turkish cameraman Cüneyt Ünal, who appeared exhausted and bruised in a video aired today in which he said he had been taken captive while reporting in Syria.

Ünal, a cameraman for the U.S. government-funded broadcaster Al-Hurra, was reported missing in the northwestern city of Aleppo on August 20 along with an Al-Hurra colleague, reporter Bashar Fahmi, a Jordanian national of Palestinian origin. Ünal makes no mention of Fahmi in the video clip.

August 27, 2012 2:41 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Egypt

In Egypt, Morsi bans pre-trial detention of journalists

New York, August 23, 2012--Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi banned pre-trial detention of journalists charged with press-related offenses today in a decree issued just hours after a Cairo criminal court jailed an editor pending trial on charges of insulting the president, according to news reports. 

Alerts   |   Egypt

Egyptian government attempts to suppress the media

Supporters raise a photo of President Morsi. (AP/Amr Nabil)

New York, August 16, 2012--President Mohamed Morsi's government and allies are pushing back against critical news coverage, suppressing critical journalists and state-run newspapers, putting a journalist on trial, and attacking three journalists on the street, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Syria

In Syria, wave of deadly attacks against journalists

Syrian residents inspect houses destroyed by what they say was heavy shelling from government forces in Homs on Tuesday. (Reuters/Yazan Homsy)

New York, August 14, 2012--A series of attacks against journalists in Syria over the past two weeks have included the killing of at least three journalists and the kidnapping of several others, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Pro-government media have borne the brunt of the recent attacks.

Blog   |   Bahrain, Somalia, Syria

Syria, Somalia, Bahrain--where fathers bury their sons

From left: Anas al-Tarsha, 17, Syria; Ahmed Addow Anshur, 24, Somalia; Mahad Salad Adan, 20, Somalia; Hassan Osman Abdi, 24, Somalia; Mazhar Tayyara, 24, Syria.

The 17-year-old videographer Anas al-Tarsha regularly filmed clashes and military movements in the city of Homs in Syria, and posted the footage on YouTube. On February 24, he was killed by a mortar round while filming the bombardment of the city's Qarabees district, according to news reports. The central city had been under attack for more than three weeks as Syrian forces stepped up their assault on opposition strongholds.

Blog   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, USA

US pursues return of Palestinian TV station's equipment

For more than five months, the Ramallah-based private television broadcaster Wattan TV has been without key equipment, including transmitters, computers, files, and archives. On February 29, Israeli soldiers and officials from the Ministry of Communications raided the station without a warrant, saying it was broadcasting illegally and interfering with aircraft transmissions.

August 7, 2012 3:39 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, Syria, USA

Weak cyber protections lead to personal, institutional risk

The Syrian civil war is also a propaganda war. With the Assad regime and the rebels both attempting to assure their supporters and the world that they are on the brink of victory, how the facts are reported has become central to the struggle. Hackers working in support of Assad loyalists this week decided to take a shortcut, attacking the Reuters news agency's blogging platform and one of its Twitter accounts, and planting false stories about the vanquishing of rebel leaders and wavering support for them from abroad.

August 6, 2012 6:14 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Security, USA

Stressed out: How should newsrooms handle trauma?

A TV crew reports on the shooting in Colorado from a parking lot across the street. (AFP/Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

The rampage inside a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 people and injured dozens more is the most recent reminder that a journalist anywhere can face sudden, great emotional stress. Any story involving tragedy--from domestic violence to natural disasters--can inflict an emotional toll on field journalists. The very empathy that makes a journalist a good storyteller puts him or her at risk.

July 27, 2012 1:49 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bahrain, China, Internet, UK

For journalists, danger lurking in your email

A protester in Jidhafs, Bahrain. (AP/Hasan Jamali)

This week, Morgan Marquis-Boire and Bill Marczak of the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab provided a disturbing look into the likely use of a commercial surveillance program, FinFisher, to remotely invade and control the computers of Bahraini activists. After the software installs itself onto unsuspecting users' computer, it can record and relay emails, screenshots, and Skype audio conversations. It was deployed against Bahraini users after being concealed in seemingly innocent emails.

Blog   |   CPJ, Honduras, Russia, Turkey

CPJ testifies on global threats to freedom of expression

CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington on Wednesday, highlighting global attacks on press freedom and, in particular, assaults on the press in Honduras, Russia, and Turkey.

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan restricts protest coverage, cracks down on press

Sudanese journalists protest the recent crackdown on the press. (AFP/Ashraf Shazly)

New York, July 20, 2012--Authorities in Sudan must stop their crackdown on press coverage of the ongoing protests in Khartoum and allow the media to report independently without fear of retaliation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. At least two journalists have been detained without charge; a third journalist's whereabouts are unknown, although local news accounts say the reporter may be in state custody. In addition, authorities have confiscated particular editions of at least three newspapers and also banned a daily from publishing, news reports said.

July 20, 2012 5:31 PM ET

Blog   |   Internet, USA

Face-blurring comes into focus for journalists

From YouTube's demonstration page

This week, YouTube announced a feature that should catch the eye of video journalists and bloggers working in dangerous conditions. After uploading a video to YouTube, you can now deploy a "blur faces" post-production tool that, in theory, should disguise the visual identity of everyone on the screen. The Hindu newspaper has an excellent how-to guide for their readers.

July 20, 2012 5:24 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Iraq, Syria

Two Iraqi journalists killed in Syria

New York, July 18, 2012--Two Iraqi journalists living in Syria and covering the conflict in that country were killed on Saturday although news reports differed on crucial details. The Committee to Protect Journalists continues to investigate the circumstances of the deaths, which come amid reports of increasing violence toward Iraqis living in Syria.

July 18, 2012 3:44 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Libya

Libyan journalists released after nine days

Abdala Fassouk, the father of Abdelqadir Fassouk, holds a picture of the two cameramen. (AP/Manu Brabo)

New York, July 17, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of two Libyan television journalists who were kidnapped on July 7 after covering the country's first elections in decades.

Abdelqadir Fassouk, a reporter and cameraman for the private Misurata-based Tobacts TV station, and Yusuf Badi, a cameraman for the same station, were released on Monday, according to news reports. The journalists were headed back to the station after covering the country's historic parliamentary elections from the city of Mizdah when they were kidnapped near the city of Bani Walid, news reports said.

Alerts   |   Iran

News coverage of economic sanctions barred by Iran

New York, July 12, 2012--Iranian authorities have issued new censorship guidelines barring domestic news outlets from reporting on the impact of Western economic sanctions, local and international news outlets reported Wednesday. And, with at least three imprisonments reported, the government is continuing its years-long anti-press campaign.

Alerts   |   Libya

Libyan journalists kidnapped after covering elections

New York, July 10, 2012--Libyan authorities must establish the whereabouts of two journalists kidnapped on Saturday and do all in their power to secure their safe release, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalists were abducted on their way to the city of Misurata after covering the country's first elections in decades, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Sudan

In Sudan, journalists detained after covering protests

A screen shot from AFP TV shows Sudanese demonstrators protesting in Khartoum on Friday. (AFP)

New York, July 9, 2012--Sudanese authorities must immediately release two journalists who were taken into custody nearly a week ago after covering anti-government protests in Khartoum, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The whereabouts or any charges against the journalists have not been disclosed.

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan must end crackdown on press covering protests

Sudanese security forces pass through a Khartoum street on Monday. (AFP/Ian Timberlake)

New York, July 3, 2012--Sudanese authorities should allow journalists to cover anti-government demonstrations in Khartoum, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Over the past week, authorities have raided a media office and a journalist's home, arrested one journalist and interrogated another, deported a third journalist, and blocked at least three critical websites.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Palestinian security forces assault journalists at protests

A member of the Palestinian security forces scuffles with a journalist in Ramallah Sunday. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

New York, July 2, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned attacks by Palestinian security forces on at least four journalists who were covering protests against the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah on Saturday and Sunday, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Egypt, Security

Another journalist reports sex assault in Tahrir Square

People gathered in Tahrir Square Sunday. (AFP /Khaled Desouki)

The story sounds hideously like another--one of a chaotic, predatory attack on a woman journalist in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Clothes torn from her body, hundreds of men surging to grab her breasts and claw at her. A woman wondering, "Maybe this is how I go, how I die." It has been almost a year and a half since CBS correspondent and CPJ board member Lara Logan endured an attack like this. Now, an independent journalist and student named Natasha Smith reports that it has happened to her.

Blog   |   Internet

What to do if Google warns of state-sponsored attack


(Google)

Some journalists continue to receive the warning from Google about state-sponsored attacks that we mentioned last week. The message appears on top of logged-in services like Gmail. Occasionally it will disappear for a few hours and then reappear, but there is no way to remove it.

June 22, 2012 12:55 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sudan

Three journalists detained in Sudan over three days

Cairo, June 21, 2012--At least three journalists have been briefly detained and interrogated by Sudanese authorities since Tuesday, according to news reports. The journalists were covering recent protests against rising fuel prices in Khartoum, the reports said.

Alerts   |   Lebanon

Journalists attacked while covering clashes in Lebanon

Cairo, June 19, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by what it sees as a trend in the attack of Lebanese journalists covering clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime. In the past month, at least nine journalists have been attacked in four separate incidents.

Blog   |   Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan

Video: Journalists in exile

Four East African journalists who were forced to flee their countries tell about their experiences, difficulties, and hopes for the future. (3:43)

Read CPJ's report, "Journalists in exile: Crisis in East Africa," for more information about journalists forced to go into exile.

Blog   |   Eritrea, Sudan

For exiled Eritreans in Sudan, fear greater than most

The border between Sudan and Eritrea is heavily patrolled. (AFP/Thomas Goisque)

With the launch of CPJ's most recent exile report, I will have worked exactly three years for our Journalist Assistance program. More than 500 cases later, I have helped journalists who have gone into hiding or exile to escape threats; those in need of medicine and other support while in prison, and journalists injured after violent attacks. The most harrowing accounts of all, however, come from those crossing from Eritrea into Sudan. And things seem to be getting worse, not better.

Reports   |   Eritrea, Ethiopia, Journalist Assistance, Kenya, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia, Syria, Uganda

Journalists in exile 2012

Crisis in East Africa

Fifty-seven journalists fled their country in the past year, with Somalia sending the greatest number into exile. Journalists also fled Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Rwanda--mostly for Kenya and Uganda. Exiles in East Africa must grapple with poverty and fear. A CPJ special report by María Salazar-Ferro and Tom Rhodes

Somali journalists carry the body of Abdisalan Sheikh Hassan of Horn Cable TV who was killed in December 2011. Fear of violence is one of the top reasons why journalists flee into exile. (AFP/Mohamed Abdiwahab)

Alerts   |   Egypt

Journalist fined for defamation in Egypt

Cairo, June 18, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the legal action taken against an Egyptian journalist who was fined for defamation, and calls on the appeals court to reverse the ruling. In an unrelated incident, authorities briefly detained on Saturday an Egyptian journalist covering the run-off to the presidential election.

Blog   |   CPJ, Security, USA

Spreading the security message


Video streaming by Ustream

On the frontlines of global reporting, knowledge is safety. CPJ's event series to promote our new Journalist Security Guide continued Wednesday in Washington, D.C. where we teamed up with Internews for a panel discussion on journalist security on-site and online. 

Alerts   |   Syria

Five citizen journalists killed over two days in Syria

An image released by the Shaam News Network shows heavy shelling in Homs. At least five journalists were killed in Syria at the end of May, two of them in Homs. (AP/Shaam News Network)

Cairo, June 8, 2012--Five citizen journalists have been killed in Syria while documenting unrest in Damascus and Homs, according to news reports and local journalists. All of the deaths occurred over a two-day period at the end of May.

Blog   |   China, Internet, Iran, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, USA

State-sponsored attacks: open season on online journalists

The last few weeks have offered the strongest indications yet that nation-states are using customized software to exploit security flaws on personal computers and consumer Internet services to spy on their users. The countries suspected include the United States, Israel, and China. Journalists should pay attention--not only because this is a growing story, but because if anyone is a vulnerable target, it's reporters.

Blog   |   Bosnia, Poland, Rwanda, Serbia, Sudan

Defining role of the press in genocide prevention

Talking about genocide prevention in the shadow of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camps brings an intense and unique gravity to the discussions. The academic presentations cannot extract themselves from the looming presence of the barbed wires and grim towers surrounding the Nazis' most infamous death factory.

Blog   |   Internet, Thailand

Computer crime laws belie Thai claim to modern society

At online discussion sites all over the world, comments are posted on the Web as soon as they are written. People argue, inform, express anger, and voice fears. Some say things in the heat of the moment that they might go on to regret. Others are elliptical and obscure. The enabling of such conversations is an important modern method of discovering and re-telling the news, and encourages previously uninvolved readers of the news to help gather and disseminate it--especially in times when traditional media is censored or afraid.

Blog   |   Bolivia, CPJ, Ecuador, Security

Free expression in Americas goes beyond left or right

On Sunday the general assembly of the Organization of American States will convene in Bolivia in the verdant, highland valley city of Cochabamba. The 35 member states (every nation in the region except Cuba) are expected to vote on a measure that, if passed, could curtail free expression and press throughout the hemisphere and put journalists and others at greater risk.

Blog   |   CPJ, El Salvador, Security

Solidarity, a key to security, eludes Salvadoran press

Visitors look at an exhibit displaying the bloodstained clothes of the Jesuit priests murdered by the Salvadoran military in 1989. (AP/Luis Romero)

No other journalists are remembered quite like this. Visitors looking through the glass display at the Monsignor Romero Center & Martyrs Museum in San Salvador see the pajamas and other clothes that three Jesuit university priests were wearing when they were shot down by automatic rifle fire. A series of clear containers are filled with dark blades of grass cut from the campus lawn where each had spilled his blood.

Blog   |   CPJ, Somalia

At CPJ Debrief, Gettleman cites Somalia danger, reward

Sebastian Junger, left, introduces fellow journalist Jeffrey Gettleman at the Half King. (Nicole Schilit)

Jeffrey Gettleman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent, says he travels with "a small militia" whenever he reports from Somalia, the East African country afflicted by armed insurgency, poverty, and hunger. As intrusive as the security detail might be, he feels far more fortunate than the local reporters who face sustained and often deadly risks, or the freelance journalists who don't have the extensive support system the Times can provide.

Gettleman spoke to a crowd of about 100 at the Half King pub in Manhattan on Tuesday in the first event in the new CPJ discussion series, "CPJ Debrief." Gettleman, the East Africa bureau chief for the Times, has worked in the region for six years. With East Africa's needs so acute, and the volume of international reporting on the decline, the assignment has given him a chance to have a profound impact.

May 24, 2012 5:57 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Iran

Iranian regime continues campaign against critical press

New York, May 23, 2012--Iranian authorities have sentenced an editorial cartoonist to 25 lashes, yet another low point in a three-year-long crackdown against the press that also includes two new imprisonments and the suspension of a monthly.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israel arrests head of Palestinian prison news channel

New York, May 22, 2012--Israeli authorities should release the director of a new Palestinian satellite broadcaster who has been detained since Thursday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Blog   |   Sudan

Sudan's press under siege

Press freedom in Sudan is rapidly deteriorating, with confiscation of newspapers by the security agency becoming a norm. The scope of violations committed against publications and journalists by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) is widening by the day.

Blog   |   Security, Syria

Don't get your sources in Syria killed

Journalists covering the Syrian uprising have been targeted with government surveillance, hacking, and malware. (AP/Bassem Tellawi)

Because foreign journalists have been virtually banned from Syria during the uprising against Bashar al-Assad's regime, news coverage has relied heavily on citizen journalists and international reporters working with sources inside the country. Syrians who communicate with foreign news media run the risk of being threatened, detained, tortured, or even killed.

Alerts   |   Egypt, Iran

Egyptian police shutter Al-Alam's Cairo office

New York, May 16, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Sunday's raid on the Cairo offices of Al-Alam, an Iranian Arabic-language satellite broadcaster, which effectively shut down the station's news gathering in Egypt. CPJ calls on authorities to immediately return the station's confiscated equipment and allow staff members to resume their work. 

May 16, 2012 3:01 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Yemen

In Yemen, two journalists face trial for covering uprisings

Yemeni protesters in Aden on May 11 call for the trial of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (AFP)

New York, May 15, 2012--Yemen's Press and Publications Court must drop charges against two Al-Jazeera journalists for their coverage of last year's uprising, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ also urged the Cabinet not to revive a restrictive Audio-Visual and Electronic Media bill that has been pending in Parliament since 2010.

Alerts   |   Syria, Turkey

Syria detains journalists, releases others

Turkish journalist Adem Özköse, pictured Monday at the Istanbul office of his newspaper Milat, and freelance cameraman Hamit Coşkun were released Saturday from detention in Syria. (AP/Chris Torchia)

New York, May 14, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Syria's release of several journalists and press freedom activists over the weekend, but condemns the continued detention of at least nine journalists--and likely several more--including two journalists arrested without charge in the past month.

Blog   |   CPJ, Security, USA

Should J-School grads just get up and go overseas?

Photographers take cover behind a barricade during a protest in Egypt last year. Journalists are often forced to take deadly risks when working in war zones, usually with limited training and no insurance. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)

The guidance is hardly clear. At a Columbia University event last week pegged to the release of the new CPJ Journalist Security Guide, one journalism student said he and his classmates are getting contradictory advice. Many J-school professors, he said, have encouraged him and others to just get up, go overseas, and try to make it as a freelancer. But the experienced journalists speaking at the event advised caution.

Alerts   |   Iraq

Attacks on Iraqi journalists should be investigated

New York, May 9, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns two official attacks on journalists working in Iraqi Kurdistan, including the assault on a television news crew and the arrest of an editor whose articles alleged corruption. CPJ also calls for an investigation into a car bombing that wounded a journalist in Baghdad.

Alerts   |   Sudan

In Sudan, journalist detained; newspapers confiscated

New York, May 8, 2012--The Sudanese security services must immediately release journalist Faisal Mohamed Saleh, who was arrested at his home today after facing two weeks of harassment, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Letters   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, USA

Palestinian broadcaster's equipment must be returned

Dear Minister Kachlon: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the confiscation of equipment and archives belonging to the private Ramallah broadcaster Wattan TV more than two months ago.

Alerts   |   Egypt

Egyptian journalists report being brutalized in custody

Two journalists arrested during this protest in Cairo have reported being brutally assaulted while in custody. (AFP/Gianluigi Guercia)

New York, May 7, 2012--Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces must immediately investigate reports that two journalists were brutalized in military custody and bring the perpetrators to full account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Alerts   |   Egypt

At least 18 journalists assaulted or arrested in Egypt

Security forces throw stones back at protesters in Cairo on Friday. Thousands marched to denounce violence against demonstrators and the exclusion of candidates from the presidential election. (Reuters)

New York, May 4, 2012--At least 18 journalists have been assaulted, injured, or arrested in the past three days while covering clashes between protesters and thugs and uniformed military personnel in front of the defense ministry in the neighborhood of Abbasiya in Cairo, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Bahrain, CPJ

Breaking pledge, Bahrain bars free expression mission

King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa's government breaks a promise to allow an international mission to assess free expression in Bahrain. (AP/Hasan Jamali)

Reneging on a promise made just weeks earlier, Bahraini authorities have denied visas to representatives of several free expression organizations who planned to travel to the kingdom next week to assess press and free speech conditions. CPJ is among several organizations that have signed a joint letter to Bahrain's director of human rights organizations condemning the action.  

Blog   |   CPJ, Security, USA

In digital security, knowledge and simplicity are keys

Panelists at the launch of the new CPJ Journalist Security Guide at Columbia University. (CPJ/Nicole Schilit)

Governments and criminal organizations are stepping up digital surveillance of journalists, but the press is not keeping pace in meeting the challenge, a panel of experts said Wednesday at an event marking the launch of the CPJ Journalist Security Guide. Reporters are using unsecure consumer electronic products for sensitive tasks such as note-taking and source management, the experts said, without sufficiently assessing the risks.

Alerts   |   Yemen

Yemeni journalists attacked; newspaper harassed

New York, May 3, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a series of anti-press attacks in Yemen over the past 10 days that have included assaults on two journalists, threats against two more, and the official harassment of a local newspaper.

Blog   |   Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Internet, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Uzbekistan

Most censored nations each distort the Net in own way

Iran has invested in technology with the explicit intent of restricting
Internet access. (Reuters/Caren Firouz)

One big reason for the Internet's success is its role as a universal standard, interoperable across the world. The data packets that leave your computer in Botswana are the same as those which arrive in Barbados. The same is increasingly true of modern mobile networks. Standards are converging: You can use your phone, access an app, or send a text, wherever you are.

May 2, 2012 4:00 PM ET

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Reports   |   Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Uzbekistan

Video: 10 Most Censored Countries

CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney counts down the 10 countries where the press is most tightly restricted. How do leaders in these nations silence the media? And which country is the worst of all? (4:03)

Read CPJ's report on the 10 Most Censored countries for more detail on how censorship works, and which countries were the runners-up.

Blog   |   Bangladesh, Belarus, Burma, China, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, Nepal, North Korea

China not most censored, but may be most ambitious

Chinese official Jia Qinglin, fifth from left, hands over keys to the China-built African Union headquarters to AU Chairman and Equatorial Guinea President Theodoro Obiang. (AFP/Tony Karumba)

China didn't make the cut for our 10 most censored countries. While the Chinese Communist Party's censorship apparatus is notorious, journalists and Internet users work hard to overcome the restrictions. Nations like Eritrea and North Korea lack that dynamism.

Blog   |   Belarus, CPJ, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Libya, Mexico, Mozambique, Russia, Security, Syria, Uganda

Safer mobile use is key issue for journalists

A journalist talks on his satellite phone outside the Rixos Hotel in Libya in August 2011. (AFP/Filippo Monteforte)

As the Internet and mobile communications become more integrated into reporters' work, the digital threats to journalists' work and safety have increased as well. While many press reports have documented Internet surveillance and censorship--and the efforts to combat them--mobile communications are the new frontline for journalist security.

Blog   |   Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Syria

Assisting journalists forced to flee censorship

Javad Moghimi Parsa is one of many Iranian journalists forced to flee his heavily censored country. (Javad Moghimi Parsa)

CPJ's Journalist Assistance Program supports journalists who cannot be helped by advocacy alone. In 2011, we assisted 171 journalists worldwide. Almost a fourth came from countries that made CPJ's Most Censored list. Eight journalists from Eritrea, five from Syria, six from Cuba, and a whopping 20 from Iran sought our help after being forced to leave their countries, having suffered the consequences of defying censorship at home.

Alerts   |   Syria

Syrian forces harass Sky News; hackers attack Ferzat

The Syrian regime has tried to crack down on journalists filming protests like this one in Damascus on Friday. (Reuters/Shaam News Network)

New York, May 1, 2012--Syrian security forces harassed a credentialed camera crew from the British broadcaster Sky News as the team was filming an impromptu demonstration in Damascus today, according to news reports. Authorities briefly confiscated a camera and detained two journalists, the reports said.

Blog   |   CPJ, Libya, Security

For conflict journalists, a need for first-aid training

After photographer Tim Hetherington, seen here in Libya, died in April 2011, friend Sebastian Junger started an organization to train freelancers in battlefield first aid. (Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly)

Stop the bleeding. It's a critical and fundamental step in aiding a journalist or anyone wounded in conflict. Hemorrhage is the number one preventable death on the battlefield. And yet large numbers of journalists covering wars and political unrest all across the world are untrained in this life-saving skill. It doesn't need to be that way.

Alerts   |   Syria

Syrian regime continues its crackdown on journalists

New York, April 27, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Syria's continued detention of at least 13 journalists and press freedom activists--and perhaps several more--and calls on authorities to release them immediately. In many instances, authorities have not disclosed the health, whereabouts, or charges filed against the detainees.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, CPJ, Egypt, El Salvador, Security, Syria, USA

Why journalists need new ways to stay safe

Gang members at a prison in Izalco shortly after a government-brokered truce. (Reuters/Ulises Rodriguez)

After the Salvadoran online newsmagazine El Faro exposed a secret government deal with criminal gangs last month, its staff faced repercussions that illustrate the new and complicated risks facing journalists worldwide. El Faro's report, which said the government provided more lenient treatment of imprisoned gangsters in exchange for the groups' agreement to slow down their murderous practices, addressed one of the most sensitive topics facing journalists today--crime and its many interconnections with government.

Alerts   |   Jordan

Jordanian journalist arrested over critical article

New York, April 25, 2012--Jordanian journalist Jamal al-Muhtaseb has been detained since Monday on antistate charges after publishing an article alleging misconduct by the Royal Court, according to news reports. Al-Muhtaseb's sister, the author of the article, was also arrested but was released the same day, news reports said.

Alerts   |   Bahrain

Bahrain cracks down on news around Formula One races

Police check journalist IDs outside the Formula One races on Sunday. Authorities have restricted and suppressed journalists in the run-up to the races. (AP/Hassan Ammar)

New York, April 23, 2012--Bahraini authorities, intent on suppressing coverage of the restive political conditions that were a backdrop to the Formula One Grand Prix in Manama on Sunday, arrested at least seven international journalists who were seeking to report on anti-government demonstrations, according to news reports.

Blog   |   CPJ

Internet giants submit to external free expression scrutiny

Journalists and bloggers in authoritarian countries have their work cut out thwarting governments that try to restrict their writing and reporting. The last thing they need to worry about is the provider of their publication platform helping authorities with censorship or surveillance. Cue the Global Network Initiative (GNI), a voluntary grouping of Internet companies, freedom of expression groups, progressive investors, and academics. 

Blog   |   Bahrain

CPJ in joint call for release of bloggers, activists in Bahrain

Police used sound grenades Wednesday to disperse an anti-government rally demanding the release of human rights activists in Manama. (Reuters/Darren Whiteside)

CPJ is among 50 organizations that have signed a joint letter to Bahrain's king calling for the release of detained bloggers, activists, and human rights defenders and to drop all charges that violate the right to peaceful expression ahead of the Formula One motor racing event to be held in Manama on April 22.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Multimedia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

Video: Getting Away With Murder


CPJ's María Salazar-Ferro names the 12 countries where journalists are murdered regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. Where are leaders failing to uphold the law? Where are conditions getting better? And where is free expression in danger? (4:46)

Read CPJ's 2012 Impunity Index. And visit our Global Campaign Against Impunity and see how you can help.

April 17, 2012 12:01 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Iran

Iranian regime continues to crack down on press

New York, April 17, 2012--Sustaining their years-long campaign against the press, Iranian authorities have sentenced one journalist to prison and summoned another to serve a jail term, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to release imprisoned journalists who are being held away from their families and in deprivation.

Alerts   |   Yemen

Armed men attack Yemeni journalist in Sana'a

Yemeni journalist Mohammed al-Maqaleh was attacked and threatened by armed men on Saturday. (AFP/Mohamed Huwais)

New York, April 12, 2012--Prominent Yemeni journalist Muhammad al-Maqaleh was assaulted by armed men affiliated with a tribal group while visiting a government official's house, the journalist told the Committee to Protect Journalists today. Al-Maqaleh has widely reported on the activities of tribal groups in Yemen.

Alerts   |   Tunisia

Police attack Tunisian journalists covering protest

Police attacked journalists and clashed with protesters in a Martyrs' Day demonstration on Monday. (AFP/Fethi Belaid)

New York, April 10, 2012--Tunisian authorities must immediately investigate attacks against journalists covering a Martyrs' Day protest in the Tunisian capital on Monday, the first series of anti-press attacks that the Committee to Protect Journalists has documented in three months, CPJ said today.

Alerts   |   Lebanon, Syria

In Lebanon, cameraman killed by Syrian gunfire

Lebanese cameraman Ali Shaaban was killed in Syria today. (AFP/Anwar Amro)

New York, April 9, 2012--Syrian security forces shot and killed a Lebanese cameraman today as he was working in the northern Lebanese town of Wadi Khaled near the Syrian border, according to the journalist's employer and news reports citing Lebanese officials. The cross-border death comes on the same day that Syrian security forces fired shots into a refugee camp near the Turkish border, injuring several people, news reports said.

Blog   |   Sudan

In Sudan, a new strategy to censor the press

Journalists with Al-Tayar protest government censorship of their paper. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Sudanese authorities have a long history of closing newspapers and silencing journalists. But the government security agents who carry out official censorship have launched a new strategy this year that focuses on economic impoverishment--leaving newspapers more vulnerable than ever.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Palestinian Authority detains, questions two journalists

New York, April 4, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Palestinian Authority's recent anti-press actions in which one journalist was detained for a week for reporting on alleged corruption and spying and a second was questioned over a critical article and his posts on social media. These actions occurred despite the Authority's recent announcement of a press freedom award that it claimed would reward "quality and daring material."

Alerts   |   Syria

Syria detains, reportedly tortures videographer

Ali Mahmoud Othman ran the Baba Amr media center, seen here, where Colvin and Ochlik were killed in February. (AFP)

New York, April 2, 2012--A prominent Syrian videographer who ran the media center in Baba Amr where two foreign journalists were killed in February has been detained since Wednesday, according to news reports

Ali Mahmoud Othman was initially held at a military intelligence unit in Aleppo and is believed to have been tortured, Paul Conroy, a photographer for The Sunday Times, said in an interview with the U.K.'s Channel 4. Activists were cited in news reports giving the same information. Conroy and other reports said Othman was transferred to Damascus over the weekend.

Blog   |   Internet, Iraq

Iraqi cybercrime bill is the worst kind

After the rash of political revolutions and criminal attacks on governments and companies last year, it wasn't hard to predict that 2012 would be the year of a cybercrime crackdown. The United States is considering its own cybercrime legislation, and the European Union is seeking to harmonize its member state's computer crime laws. Governments understandably want to prevent further online attacks. Journalists suffer these attacks also, but they don't necessarily gain from fiercer laws. And in the case of a proposed new cybercrime law in Iraq, they may face life imprisonment for simply doing their job.

March 30, 2012 1:35 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Iran

Iran continues its campaign against the press

New York, March 29, 2012--Iranian authorities have imprisoned two additional journalists as part of their three-year-long crackdown on the press, according to news reports. In addition, the BBC reported that its Web services had been targeted by a distributed denial-of-service attack, which the broadcaster believed originated from the Iranian regime. 

Alerts   |   Syria

Two independent journalists killed in Syria

Editor's note: In a follow-up report published on April 19, 2012, CPJ found questions about the journalistic credentials of the deceased.

New York, March 27, 2012--Syrian security forces shot and killed two freelance international journalists and wounded a third during an attack on Monday in the town of Darkoush near the Turkish border, according to news reports and a witness interviewed by CPJ.

March 27, 2012 4:25 PM ET

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Blog   |   Syria

Chair of UN panel on Syria pledges to probe attacks

The chair of the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Paulo Pinheiro, has criticized Syria's policy on the media but refrained from blaming the regime for journalists' deaths. (AFP/Fabrice Coffrini)

Paulo Pinheiro, the chair of the International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, is a seasoned diplomat trained in the tradition of Brazil's foreign affairs ministry, Itamaraty, with its celebrated emphasis on impartial mediation, dialogue, and strong skepticism toward foreign intervention to resolve international conflicts.

March 16, 2012 1:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Syria

Two Turkish journalists believed detained in Syria

Demonstrators in Istanbul protest the disappearance of two Turkish journalists in Syria. (Reuters/Osman Orsal)

New York, March 15, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists holds Syrian authorities responsible for the safety and well-being of Turkish journalists Adem Özköse and Hamit Coşkun, who are believed to be in government custody, and calls for their immediate release. The journalists were last heard from five days ago, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Syria

In Syria, killing the messenger hasn't killed the message

This image from a March 13 YouTube video is said to show regime forces shelling the restive Idlib province. The video was shot by a local videographer. (AFP/YouTube)

A report on the first anniversary of the Syrian uprising

Weeks of sporadic protests seeking government reform burst into full-fledged unrest on March 15, 2011, when thousands of demonstrators gathered in four Syrian cities. Within days, authorities had cut off news media access to Daraa, a center of the unrest, beginning a sustained effort to shut down international news coverage of the uprising and the government's increasingly violent crackdown. As the civilian death toll has reached well into the thousands, according to U.N. figures, the last four months have taken a particularly dark turn for the press. Eight local and international journalists have been killed on duty since November, at least five in circumstances that raise questions about government culpability. Yet one year after the Syrian uprising began, killing the messenger has not silenced the message.

Blog   |   Security, Syria, USA

From Small World, timely advice on safe satphone use

Journalists and technologists often speak different languages. But a Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit, Small World News, is bridging the gap with a new guide on the safe use of satellite phones. It comes at a critical time.

The group's Guide to Safely Using Satphones just went online, less than three weeks after the deaths of international journalists Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik in Homs, Syria. Several journalists who worked in Homs suspected the Syrian government targeted the building where Colvin, Ochlik, and other journalists were working. If government forces indeed targeted the building, they could have relied on several forms of intelligence, including the tracking of journalists' satellite signals.

March 13, 2012 2:43 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Egypt

Egyptian journalists accused of 'insulting armed forces'

New York, March 9, 2012--Egyptian authorities should immediately dismiss a baseless complaint of antistate activities that has been lodged against several journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The case has been referred to military prosecutors as part of a broader practice that has raised constitutional and international concerns.

Blog   |   Egypt

Egyptian journalists pressured by military, Islamists

Veteran Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Eissa. (CPJ)

For a few weeks after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, it looked as if Egypt might do the unthinkable and do away with the ministry of information. New publications and TV stations sprouted up, newspaper circulation soared, and a new breed of citizen journalists and bloggers opened a space for reporting and comment that a year earlier would have led to a jail sentence.

For a growing number of independent journalists and bloggers, the memory of that press freedom euphoria is as hazy as the Cairo skyline.

March 6, 2012 3:21 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Kuwait

Kuwaiti daily suspended for 'creating sectarian strife'

New York, March 5, 2012--Kuwaiti authorities must lift their suspension of the privately owned newspaper Al-Dar and drop antistate charges lodged in connection with articles that sought to defend the country's Shiite minority, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Statements   |   Syria

Relief greets evacuation, but concern over fallen

New York, March, 1, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the news that two French journalists injured in Homs last week have reached safety in Lebanon. "We are relieved that Edith Bouvier and William Daniels are now safe but are concerned that the Syrian government's assault on Homs has made it impossible to retrieve the bodies of our colleagues Marie Colvin and  Rémi Ochlik," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "We remain deeply concerned for the safety of all Syrian journalists who are risking their lives to report on the unrest across the country."

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan attempts to silence opposition news coverage

Journalists of the independent al-Tayar newspaper protest the confiscation of its entire edition. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

New York, March 1, 2012--Sudanese authorities must halt their efforts to silence news coverage of opposition leadership, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Authorities have already closed three newspapers in 2012 and confiscated thousands of copies, CPJ research shows.

Alerts   |   Iran

Ahead of elections, Iran cracks down on press freedom

New York, February 28, 2012--The Iranian regime continued its persistent campaign against press freedom days ahead of its parliamentary elections on March 2 by sentencing two journalists to prison and periodically blocking millions of users from accessing the Internet, according to news reports. In addition, two journalists are suffering from deteriorating health conditions in prison, news reports said.

Blog   |   Security, Syria

Caveat utilitor: Satellite phones can always be tracked

The Telegraph in London was the first to report that Syrian government forces could have "locked on" to satellite phone signals to launch the rocket attacks that killed journalists Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik, as well as many Syrian civilians, besides wounding dozens more including two more international journalists. Working out of a makeshift press center in Homs, foreign correspondents and local citizen journalists alike have been using satellite phones to send images of attacks on civilians around the world.

Alerts   |   Syria

CPJ calls on Syrian authorities to halt violence

French foreign minister Alain Juppe addresses reporters outside the "Friends of Syria" conference in Tunis. (AP/Amine Landoulsi)

New York, February 24, 2012--Syrian authorities must heed the call issued by more than 60 countries today to stop the ongoing shelling in Syria, and allow medical access and safe passage to the wounded and dead journalists trapped in Homs, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Statements   |   Syria

CPJ supports calls for immediate cease-fire in Syria

New York, February, 24, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists supports efforts by the international community to impose an immediate cease-fire in Syria to allow for the safe delivery of humanitarian aid and a cessation of hostilities. Two journalists injured in Wednesday's Homs attack require urgent medical attention and evacuation. The bodies of two more journalists have also been trapped in Homs since they were killed on Wednesday.

February 24, 2012 11:32 AM ET

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Blog   |   Sri Lanka, Syria, UK, USA

Recalling Marie Colvin, the 'greatest of our generation'

In her final hours, Marie Colvin gave this damning report to CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Bravery, generosity, and commitment: These are the three characteristics of Marie Colvin that have surfaced, again and again, in the many tributes spoken and published since the veteran Sunday Times reporter was killed Wednesday in the besieged city of Homs by Syrian forces.

February 23, 2012 3:41 PM ET

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Blog   |   Syria

Paul Conroy appeals for help from Homs


In a video posted to YouTube by a Syrian activist, injured Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy speaks from Homs with his local doctor, describing his injuries and asking for humanitarian assistance, cessation of the shelling, and safe passage out. In English with some Arabic.

Click here for Edith Bouvier and William Daniels' appeal video.

February 23, 2012 11:39 AM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt, Libya, Security, Syria, UK, USA

To quote Marie Colvin: 'What is bravery, and what bravado?'

Not since the worst period of the Iraq war, or in the Balkans the decade before, have so many storied journalists been killed or seriously injured in such a short period of time. Inevitably, the spate of deaths leaves many journalists asking questions about whether and how much they are willing to risk their own lives, and possibly the lives of others. Many experienced journalists might agree on one thing: the decisions one makes about risk are among the most intimate decisions they will ever make.

Alerts   |   Syria

Syria must allow evacuation of dead, wounded journalists

Journalists and other citizens are not being allowed to evacuate from the city of Homs, which has been repeatedly attacked by government forces. (AFP/LCC SYRIA)

New York, February 23, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists demands that Syrian authorities allow safe passage for the evacuation of four foreign journalists trapped in the besieged city of Homs, along with the bodies of Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik, two journalists killed in intense government shelling on Wednesday.

Blog   |   Syria

From Homs, injured journalists seek world's help


In this video posted to YouTube by a Syrian activist, injured Le Figaro reporter Edith Bouvier and Sunday Times photographer William Daniels speak from Homs along with the local doctor who has been treating them. They are pleading with the world to make the barrage of rockets stop and to allow Bouvier to get urgent medical care. They speak in Arabic, English, and French.

Click here for Paul Conroy's appeal video.

February 23, 2012 9:56 AM ET

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Blog   |   Syria

Slideshow: Colvin, Ochlik at work

International journalists Marie Colvin, 55, and Rémi Ochlik, 28, were killed Wednesday during shelling of the besieged city of Homs in Syria.

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Pictured are Colvin, an American reporting for the Sunday Times, in Cairo's Tahrir Square (AP/Ivor Prickett); Ochlik, a French photojournalist (AP/Julien de Rosa); Colvin with Libyan rebels in Misurata on June 4, 2011 (Reuters//Zohra Bensemr); Ochlik covering demonstrations in Cairo (AP/Julien de Rosa); Ochlik, who quit his studies at age 20 to report on Haiti and then covered many of the recent upheavals in the Arab world (AP/Lucas Dolega); both journalists (Sunday Times and AFP); and Colvin being treated by Sri Lankan army medical staff on Tuesday, April 17, 2001, at a field hospital in Vavuniya, northeast of Colombo (AP).

February 22, 2012 3:11 PM ET

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Blog   |   Syria, USA

As live streaming expands, challenges intensify

This screenshot from YouTube dated Wednesday is said to show the shelling of Homs as recorded by Rami al-Sayed before his death.

The world lost one of the only direct windows into the carnage in Homs, Syria, when Rami al-Sayed's video live stream went dark Tuesday. A citizen journalist, al-Sayed was live streaming the Assad regime's bombardment of Baba Amr and the brutal after-effects when he was struck by shrapnel and bled to death soon after, according to news reports. When outlets including the BBC World, SkyNews, and Al Jazeera aired his live footage, they highlighted how important this medium has become to journalism. And when the Syrian army took his life they proved how vulnerable it is.

Blog   |   France, Syria, UK, USA

Risk and reporting

Last night at London's Frontline Club, CPJ launched its global survey of press freedom conditions, Attacks on the Press. The topic of discussion was the safety of journalists covering conflict and the panel consisted of journalist and documentarian Jenny Kleeman, ITN safety guru Colin Pereira, and journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari, who was imprisoned in Iran following the disputed 2009 presidential elections.

Alerts   |   Syria

CPJ condemns killings of 3 journalists in besieged Homs

Colvin and Ochlik. (AFP)

New York, February 22, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the killings of three journalists who died today and Tuesday as Syrian forces continued intense shelling of the besieged city of Homs. The acclaimed international reporter Marie Colvin and the French photojournalist Rémi Ochlik were killed this morning when their makeshift press center came under fire, while local videographer Rami al-Sayed died while covering a bombardment on Tuesday. At least three other journalists were reported injured.

February 22, 2012 2:05 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Azerbaijan, Iran

Journalist for Iranian media imprisoned in Azerbaijan

New York, February 22, 2012--Anar Bayramli, Baku-based correspondent for Iranian broadcaster Sahar TV and news agency Fars, has been imprisoned for two months pending trial over drug charges. The Committee to Protect Journalists has determined the charges are fabricated and calls on authorities in Azerbaijan to release him immediately.

February 22, 2012 11:16 AM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Egypt

At Attacks launch, a look at Cairo's post-revolution press

A year ago, police confront demonstrators outside the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate in Cairo. (AP/Ben Curtis)

What a difference a year makes. In January 2011, we had to scrap plans for our regular Middle East launch of Attacks on the Press at the headquarters of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate in downtown Cairo. Just a few blocks away, in Tahrir Square, journalists were busy fending off their own attackers as pro-regime thugs tried to thwart young Egyptians' ultimately successful attempt to topple Hosni Mubarak. 

February 21, 2012 11:39 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Middle East & North Africa

Analyses and data track press freedom conditions throughout the region. Mohamed Abdel Dayem examines five trends to watch from the Arab uprisings. María Salazar and Sheryl Mendez describe the fear and uncertainty facing doens of Iranian exiled journalists. And Robert Mahoney details Turkey's assault on free expression.

February 21, 2012 11:20 PM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia

Attacks on the Press: From Uprisings, Trends to Watch

Photographers take cover during November protests in Tahrir Square. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

The Middle East's political shifts changed conditions for journalists dramatically. The emerging trends favor free expression, but are filled with ambiguity and depend on the political configurations to emerge after the revolutionary dust has settled. By Mohamed Abdel Dayem

Attacks on the Press   |   Turkey

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Turkey's Legal Problem

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, buoyed by a landslide election victory, has led an attack on press freedom. (AP/Boris Grdanoski)

With the aid of anachronistic legislation and a rigid judiciary, Turkish officials and politicians have curbed free expression by subjecting journalists to endless court proceedings and legal costs. The EU and the U.S. are no help. By Robert Mahoney

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Attacks on the Press   |   Iran, Iraq, Turkey

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Iran's Vast Diaspora

Journalists who have fled Iran to avoid prison face a tense and lengthy process toward resettlement, an uncertain financial and professional future, and most of all, fear that the Iranian government will catch up with them. By María Salazar-Ferro and Sheryl A. Mendez
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Attacks on the Press   |   Iran

Attacks on the Press in 2011: From Iran Into Exile


This video companion to Attacks on the Press recounts the story of Iranian journalist Javad Moghimi Parsa. Time magazine published one of the photos he took during his off-duty coverage of the unrest that came after the 2009 elections. Called a spy, he fled into exile. (2:47)

Read the Attacks on the Press 2011 country profile on Iran.

February 21, 2012 11:17 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press

Attacks on the Press in 2011: The Year in Photos

Photographers from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, and other news outlets documented historic events in 2011, often at great peril. The Year in Photographs: Press Freedom in 2011 features images from the Arab uprisings, South Asia's armed conflicts, and political repression in the Americas, Africa, and Europe.

February 21, 2012 11:16 PM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Bahrain

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Bahrain

The government waged a brutal multifaceted crackdown against independent news media covering the country’s months-long protest movement. Security forces subjected journalists to assaults, expulsions, detentions, politicized trials, prison terms, and lethal mistreatment in custody. Both international and local reporters were targeted: A journalist for the U.S. broadcaster ABC was beaten and his camera was confiscated in February; a photographer for the independent domestic daily Al-Wasat was beaten while covering a March protest. Authorities used live ammunition against protesters and reporters: The New York Times reported that two of its journalists came under helicopter fire in February. The Ministry of Information expelled CNN correspondent Mohammed Jamjoom over coverage of the unrest, and detained members of a CNN crew trying to interview human rights activist Nabeel Rajab. In June, a court convicted two critical journalistic bloggers on a series of antistate charges and sentenced them to lengthy terms. Reports of torture and mistreatment of detainees were common: Two journalists, one a founder of Al-Wasat, died in government custody under circumstances authorities would not fully explain. Al-Wasat, the country’s premier independent paper, was in the crosshairs throughout the year: Armed assailants stormed its printing facility in March; the Information Ministry briefly shut the paper in April; and the government filed criminal charges against three senior editors for “false news” the same month. CPJ honored Al-Wasat founder and editor Mansoor al-Jamri with its 2011 International Press Freedom Award.

February 21, 2012 4:30 PM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Yemen

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Yemen

A besieged government and its supporters retaliated fiercely against journalists covering the months of popular protests that sought an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule. Authorities detained local journalists, expelled international reporters, and confiscated newspapers in an effort to silence coverage, while government supporters and plainclothes agents assaulted media workers in the field. Two journalists covering anti-government protests were killed by gunfire, one by security forces who fired live ammunition to disperse a demonstration, the other by a sniper suspected to have been acting on behalf of the government. The government singled out Al-Jazeera in a months-long effort to silence its coverage. In March, plainclothes agents raided the station's Sana'a bureau, confiscating equipment. The raid followed the expulsion of two Al-Jazeera correspondents. Days later, authorities ordered Al-Jazeera's offices shut and its journalists stripped of accreditation. Other newsrooms were under direct fire. Armed men in civilian clothes tried to storm the offices of the independent daily Al-Oula, seriously wounding an editorial trainee, while military forces shelled the Yemeni satellite broadcaster Suhail TV, whose staff endured numerous other threats and detentions. In a rebuke to the regime, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to renowned Yemeni press freedom activist Tawakul Karman, chairwoman of Women Journalists Without Chains, along with two female African leaders.

February 21, 2012 12:12 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Tunisia

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Tunisia

The press enjoyed new freedom after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in January amid widespread protests, although a photographer was killed covering the unrest. The release of veteran journalist Fahem Boukadous after several months in prison was welcome news for a press corps accustomed to continued harassment and detention during Ben Ali's 23-year reign. News media were able to report freely during parliamentary elections in October; no major press freedom violations were reported during the voting. But throughout the year, journalists were still vulnerable to assault. In May, plainclothes police attacked several local and international journalists who were covering anti-government demonstrations. Licenses were issued to more than 100 new publications during the year, but some vestiges of censorship lingered. Hannibal TV, a station owned by a Ben Ali relative, was forced off the air for more than three hours in January.

February 21, 2012 12:11 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Syria

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Syria

The regime enforced an effective media blackout in March, banning international journalists from reporting or entering the country and detaining local journalists who tried to cover protests seeking an end to Bashar al-Assad’s rule. In a widespread campaign to silence media coverage, the government detained and assaulted journalists, expelled foreign journalists, and disabled mobile phones, landlines, electricity, and the Internet in cities where the protests broke out. The regime also extracted passwords of social media sites from journalists by using violence, and defaced social networking pages, while the pro-government online group Syrian Electronic Army hacked social media sites and posted pro-regime comments. In April, Al-Jazeera suspended its Damascus bureau after several of its journalists were harassed and received threats. Three days after the brutal assault of famed cartoonist Ali Ferzat in August, the government passed a new media law that “banned” the imprisonment of journalists and allowed for greater freedom of expression. It then followed up by jailing several journalists. In November, cameraman Ferzat Jarban was the first journalist to be killed in Syria in connection with his work since CPJ began keeping detailed records in 1992.

February 21, 2012 12:10 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Sudan

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Sudan

Sudan continued to impose extensive censorship by confiscating newspapers and shutting news outlets, and it maintained a hostile atmosphere through the frequent use of harassment and detention. Numerous press freedom violations were reported in the run-up to the January referendum that led to independence for South Sudan. On the eve of South Sudan's independence in July, the state-run National Council for Press and Publications announced the withdrawal of licenses for six newspapers partly owned by South Sudanese citizens that had run commentary critical of the Khartoum government. In September, the council ordered the suspension of another six sports-oriented publications for allegedly “inciting violence between teams.” In June, authorities filed politicized criminal defamation charges against several journalists who covered the alleged rape and torture of a youth activist. After the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, President Omar al-Bashir announced that he would pardon all imprisoned journalists. Jafaar al-Subki Ibrahim, a reporter for the private daily Al-Sahafa who had been held incommunicado and without charge since November 2010, was released after the announcement. But no formal pardon was ever issued, and four journalists were still in detention in late year. In September alone, the National Intelligence and Security Services blocked the distribution of four opposition newspapers without cause.

February 21, 2012 12:09 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Saudi Arabia

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Saudi Arabia

Saudi authorities maintained a suffocating atmosphere of censorship as they further tightened the country's highly restrictive media law. In May, a royal decree amended five articles of the law, barring the publication of any material that contravened Sharia law, impinged on state interests, promoted foreign interests, harmed public order or national security, or enabled criminal activity. In January, the Kingdom issued new regulations for online media that included several restrictive and vaguely worded provisions that grant the Ministry of Culture and Information sweeping powers to censor news outlets and sanction journalists. The government withdrew the accreditation of Riyadh-based Reuters correspondent Ulf Laessing in March, apparently angered by his coverage of a pro-reform protest. Reuters stood by the reporting. The same month, amid popular uprisings across the region, authorities banned three critical columnists working for the government-controlled daily Al-Watan. Authorities did not cite a reason, but all three had written about the region's political unrest. In late year, as demonstrations broke out in the kingdom's eastern province, authorities blocked local and international journalists from gaining access to the region. With a few exceptions, the demonstrations went uncovered.

February 21, 2012 12:08 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Morocco

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Morocco

King Mohamed VI pledged a series of constitutional reforms in March after the region’s wave of popular uprisings passed through the kingdom. But the reforms did not extend to opening up the press. Authorities took concerted measures to suppress coverage of mass protests in Casablanca’s streets. During a March protest in the capital, Rabat, uniformed police assaulted  several journalists covering its violent dispersal. The biggest and most controversial case in the kingdom was that of Rachid Nini, a prominent government critic, executive editor of the Moroccan daily Al-Massae, and owner of Al-Massae Media Group. He was detained in April and sentenced to one year in prison on charges of “denigrating judicial rulings” and “compromising the security and safety of the homeland and citizens.”

February 21, 2012 12:07 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Libya

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Libya

Journalists worked in extraordinarily dangerous conditions during the eight-month uprising that ended 42 years of rule by Muammar Qaddafi and led to his death. Five journalists were killed amid fierce fighting between rebels and loyalists. Qaddafi's regime unleashed a widespread campaign to silence foreign and local journalists, detaining dozens in abusive conditions. In February, Qaddafi invited reporters to the capital, Tripoli, only to restrict them to the Rixos Hotel, monitor their every move, and prevent them from reporting on anything other than the government line. In their efforts to block news coverage, authorities also jammed satellite signals, severed Internet service, cut off mobile phone networks and landlines, and attacked news facilities. While the crumbling regime was able to orchestrate coverage for a time in Tripoli, it failed to prevent the press from disseminating information about rebel advances in the rest of the country. Press freedom violations persisted after the Libyan rebel government, known as the National Transitional Council, or NTC, took power in August. One journalist was brutally assaulted in Benghazi that month, and the NTC placed one pro-Qaddafi journalist under house arrest.

February 21, 2012 12:06 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Jordan

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Jordan

Security forces tried to restrict coverage of the country’s civil unrest by attacking journalists covering pro-reform protests, often confiscating or destroying their equipment. Authorities raided the office of a news website in April, destroying equipment and threatening staff members. The same month, Al-Jazeera received a series of threats that its offices and journalists would be attacked if the network did not tone down coverage of the protests; the network’s Amman bureau chief said he had received death threats by telephone and social media. Other attacks included the hacking of a news website in February for refusing to take down a critical statement from a group of Jordanian tribesmen calling for political and economic reforms. In an Orwellian maneuver, the lower chamber of parliament passed a bill in September that was marketed as fighting corruption. In fact, some provisions would accomplish the opposite: They would impose heavy new fines against journalists who report on corruption without “solid facts.” Facing heavy opposition from journalists, the upper chamber sent the bill to committee for further review. Despite a long list of press freedom abuses, Jordanian leaders escaped criticism from the United States, which sought to maintain close relations with the kingdom.

February 21, 2012 12:05 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Hamas forces in Gaza cracked down on journalists covering March demonstrations that called for Palestinian unity. Local journalists were attacked, media bureaus raided, and journalistic material confiscated. In April, three photographers were assaulted in the West Bank while covering skirmishes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in a village south of Nablus. In May, an Israeli soldier shot and seriously wounded Palestinian photographer Mohammed Othman, who was covering clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinians near the Erez Crossing. New legal restrictions were introduced: In July, the Israeli parliament passed an “anti-boycott” law making it a civil offense to support any boycott, divestment, or sanction campaign aimed at Israel based on its Palestinian policies. Journalists could face legal action for even insinuating support of a boycott. Hamas, meanwhile, adopted a new requirement that international journalists obtain Interior Ministry permission before entering Gaza, news reports said. Israeli authorities were holding four Palestinian journalists without charge in late year; Hamas was imprisoning three others, also without charge.

February 21, 2012 12:04 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Iraq

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Iraq

Five journalists and a media worker were killed as Iraq maintained its position as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. In August, the government adopted a law meant to offer journalists more protection, although its vague provisions did little initially to improve conditions. As demonstrations for economic and political reform spread with the Arab uprisings, journalists were consistently targeted for their coverage. Anti-riot police attacked, detained, and assaulted journalists covering protests. In their attempt to restrict coverage of the unrest, police raided news stations and press freedom groups, destroyed equipment, and arrested journalists. In Iraqi Kurdistan, authorities used aggression and intimidation to restrict journalists' coverage of violent clashes between security forces and protesters. Gunmen raided and destroyed equipment of an independent TV station and a radio station in Sulaymaniyah. Three journalists were fired upon in separate episodes in March, while two journalists were injured covering clashes in Sulaymaniyah in April. Prominent Iraqi Kurdish journalist Asos Hardi was badly beaten by an unidentified assailant.

February 21, 2012 12:03 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Iran

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Iran

Two years after a contested presidential election, Tehran continued to use the mass imprisonment of journalists to silence dissent and quash critical news coverage. Imprisoned journalists suffered greatly amid the crowded and unsanitary conditions of notorious prisons such as Rajaee Shah and Evin. The health of many detainees severely deteriorated, while numerous others suffered abuse at the hands of prison guards. The detainees also faced a battery of punitive measures, from the denial of family visits to placement in solitary confinement. Authorities continued a practice of freeing some prisoners on furloughs while making new arrests. Six-figure bonds were often posted by the furloughed journalists who faced immense political pressure to falsely implicate their colleagues in crimes. While some large international news organizations maintained a presence in Tehran, their journalists could not move or report freely, particularly outside the capital. Politically sensitive topics such as the country's nuclear program or its plan to eliminate subsidies were largely off-limits to local and international reporters. The government also restricted adversarial reporting by using sophisticated technology to block websites, jamming satellite signals, and banning publications.

February 21, 2012 12:02 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Egypt

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Egypt

During the 18-day uprising that led to Hosni Mubarak's ouster, the government unleashed a systematic campaign to intimidate journalists and obstruct news coverage. Dozens of serious press freedom violations were recorded between January 25 and February 11, as police and government supporters assaulted journalists in the streets. One journalist was killed by sniper fire while covering the demonstrations. Authorities also detained scores of journalists, instituted a six-day Internet blackout, suspended mobile phone service, blocked satellite transmissions, revoked accreditations, erected bureaucratic obstacles for foreign reporters, confiscated equipment, and stormed newsrooms. After Mubarak's fall, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces showed its own hostility to critical news coverage. The council established a new censorship regime in March, telling editors they must obtain approval for coverage involving the armed forces. In July, the council reinstated the historically repressive Information Ministry; in September, it announced it would enforce the Mubarak-era Emergency Law that allows indefinite detention of civilians. Authorities raided broadcasters in September, October, and December, censored newspapers, and arrested critical bloggers. In October, a fatal confrontation between the military and civilians in front of the Television and Radio Union left dozens dead, including a journalist. The next month, at least 35 journalists were detained or assaulted while covering a week of demonstrations demanding the military hand over power to civilians. As the year ended, the first two rounds of parliamentary voting gave Islamist parties a significant lead over secular competitors.

February 21, 2012 12:01 AM ET

Statements   |   Syria

Syria arrests 14 in attempt to block news

New York, February 16, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the arrests of 14 journalists, bloggers, and press freedom activists with the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM). The group has played a key role in getting out information about daily developments in Syria as foreign journalists are virtually banned from the country.

February 16, 2012 1:42 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Iran

Increasing press freedom violations in Iran

New York, February 14, 2012--The Iranian regime continued its sustained crackdown on the press, arresting a blogger, handing a journalist a harsh prison term, and banning a reformist news publication, according to news reports. The regime has also announced the mass arrest of several individuals with alleged links to the BBC Persian-language service, news reports said.

Blog   |   Bahrain

A year of repression: Bahrain continues crackdown on press

Journalists from Al-Wasat newspaper leave a Bahraini court after being fined US$2,650 each for publishing false news. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)

In the year since peaceful protests began in Bahrain on February 14, 2011, the government has targeted the press corps with assault, detention, harassment, and torture to obstruct their coverage. My organization, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, has documented a systematic campaign by authorities to silence coverage of our country's unrest. Here are just some of the many attacks on the press:

February 13, 2012 1:59 PM ET

Alerts   |   Yemen

Yemeni newspaper office under siege

Yemeni protesters demonstrate in the capital Sana'a Thursday demanding active participation in the early presidential elections to be held this month. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)

New York, February 9, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Yemeni authorities to end an ongoing siege at the offices of a daily newspaper and ensure the protection of journalists and their equipment. Armed men last week surrounded the offices of two Yemeni newspapers, one of which remains under attack, according to news reports.

February 9, 2012 5:58 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Bahrain

Bahrain should grant entry to journalists

New York, February 9, 2012--Bahrain has rejected at least six journalists' applications for entry visas ahead of the anniversary of antigovernment protests that swept the country in February 2011, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to allow journalists into the country to carry out their work freely.

Alerts   |   Egypt

Journalists attacked, threatened in Suez protests

At least 10 journalists have been attacked during protests in the Egyptian city of Suez over four days. (AFP/STR)

New York, February 8, 2012--Journalists covering political unrest in the Egyptian port city of Suez have been subjected to at least 10 attacks over a four-day period, according to news reports. One journalist was chased, fired upon, and threatened in four separate incidents, CPJ research shows.

Alerts   |   Egypt

In Egypt, two journalists attacked, one detained

An Egyptian protester throws back a gas canister during clashes with security forces in Cairo this weekend, in which at least two journalists were attacked. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

New York, February 6, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns official attacks on journalists covering political unrest in Egypt this weekend. At least two journalists were shot by security forces in the past three days, and a third journalist was assaulted in police custody, according to news reports.

February 6, 2012 4:47 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Tunisia

Tunisian court should drop prison term given to journalist

New York, February 6, 2012--A Tunisian appeals court should throw out the prison sentence against journalist Abdel Aziz al-Jaridi at a February 10 hearing and authorities should use his case as an opportunity to break from the repressive practices of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's era, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Blog   |   China, Internet, UK, USA

Can selective blocking pre-empt wider censorship?

A screen shot showing part of a Twitter blog post in which the company announced it could now censor messages on a country-by-country basis. (AP/Twitter)

Last week, Twitter provoked a fierce debate online when it announced a new capability--and related policy--to hide tweets on a country-specific basis. By building this feature into its website's basic code, Twitter said it hoped to offer a more tailored response to legal demands to remove tweets globally. The company will inform users if any tweet they see has been obscured, and provide a record of all demands to remove content with the U.S.-based site chillingeffects.org.

February 3, 2012 5:14 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Iran

Ahead of Iran elections, crackdown on press continues

New York, February 2, 2012--At least 10 Iranian journalists were jailed in the month of January as the government continued its crackdown on dissent ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled in March, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Recent news reports identified three previously undisclosed arrests.

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran continues its campaign against journalists

New York, January 20, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the most recent spate of press freedom violations in Iran and calls on authorities to immediately reverse its crackdown on the press. 

Letters   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Attacks, arrests, legislation restrict Israeli press freedom

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu: The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by ongoing attacks on and detention of journalists in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as by a recent series of developments that restrict freedom of the press in Israel. Physical attacks, arrests, and other restrictions are creating an environment that undermines the vitality of the media, a key component of Israel's democracy.

January 18, 2012 3:27 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Turkey

Further investigation necessary in Hrant Dink murder

Friends of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist protest outside a courthouse in Istanbul today. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

New York, January 17, 2012--The conviction of several accomplices in the 2007 assassination of Hrant Dink, then-editor of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, fails to address the issue of who commissioned the slaying, thus perpetuating impunity in the case, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Blog   |   France, Syria

Jacquier's killing raises chilling questions on Syria

Syrians hold a candlelight vigil as the body of French tv reporter Gilles Jacquier is taken out of a hospital in Homs to be transported to Damascus early on Thursday. (AFP/Joseph Eid)

The killing on January 11 of a French TV reporter has sent a chill through the international press corps trying to cover the violence in Syria. Gilles Jacquier, 43, who was on assignment for the French public service channel France 2, was a seasoned journalist and the laureate of France's most prestigious journalism prizes. As a special reporter for "Envoyé special," France's equivalent of "60 Minutes," he had covered dozens of wars, from Kosovo to Afghanistan, and was considered one of the most professional French war correspondents.

January 13, 2012 6:44 PM ET

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