Middle East & North Africa

2013

Blog   |   Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Journalist Assistance, Kenya, Somalia

Journalist Assistance helps record number in 2012

An increase in press freedom violations last year created a surge of need among journalists, driving a record number of assistance cases for CPJ's Journalist Assistance Program in 2012. More than three-quarters of the 195 journalists who received support during the year came from East Africa and the Middle East and North Africa, reflecting the challenges--including threats of violence and imprisonment--of working in these repressive regions. Here are some of the highlights of our work over the last year:

Blog   |   Security, Syria

Humanitarian law, ethics, and journalism in Syria

A Syrian pilot shot down and taken prisoner is interviewed by Al-Jazeera on October 17. (YouTube)

A small number of journalists reporting from Syria have recently interviewed prisoners of war under highly coercive circumstances. In doing so, they have ignored the protections that are due to prisoners under international humanitarian law, or IHL.

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran arrests journalists in largest crackdown since 2009

New York, January 28, 2013--At least 14 journalists affiliated with reformist news outlets were arrested in Iran on Saturday and Sunday in the largest crackdown on the press since 2009, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Iranian authorities to immediately release all journalists in custody and halt their practice of imprisoning critical journalists.

Blog   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Will Israel respond to query on targeting Gaza journalists?

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike on Gaza on November 17, 2012. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

On December 2, CPJ sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requesting an explanation for airstrikes on media facilities during the November 2012 military action in Gaza. The strikes damaged two media buildings and killed and injured a number of journalists. Israeli officials said the military targeted terrorist infrastructure, but provided no explanation of how such a determination was made.

January 28, 2013 12:34 PM ET

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Statements   |   Iran

CPJ condemns journalist arrests in Iran

New York, January 28, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrests in Iran of at least 11 journalists in the largest crackdown on the media since 2009. "With this wave of arrests, the authorities appear to be attempting to pre-emptively silence independent news coverage ahead of the presidential election in June," said Sherif Mansour, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "We call on Iran to stop targeting journalists no matter who they work for, and release all those detained immediately."

January 28, 2013 11:55 AM ET

Blog   |   Egypt

Two years on, Mubarak's tactics still haunt Egypt media

Egyptian protesters tear down a cement wall blocking them from the parliament and cabinet buildings in Cairo on Thursday. (AP/Hussein Tallal)

On the second anniversary of Egypt's January 25 revolution, Hosni Mubarak's footprints are still present in many areas of the public sphere--and media are no exception. President Mohamed Morsi needs to cease using Mubarak-era tactics of silencing his critics with criminal charges such as defamation. 

Blog   |   Security, Syria

Preparation helps freelancers survive, thrive

The Baba Amr district of Homs in March 2011. (AFP/Shaam News Network)

When the story is so important but the risks are so high, journalists must keep safety at the forefront of their thinking. That's especially true for freelancers who often do not have the support of a large news organization. Preparation, peer networking, and smart planning can help improve the odds of not only surviving hostile situations but succeeding in one's work.

January 24, 2013 11:01 AM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Syria, USA

Talking international law and conflict journalists

What is the humanitarian function of journalism in wartime? How does international humanitarian law protect journalists? Why is impunity the most important challenge facing journalists working in conflict zones?

Alerts   |   Syria

In Syria, Al-Jazeera reporter killed in Daraa

New York, January 18, 2013--An Al-Jazeera reporter was killed by a sniper in the city of Daraa today, the station reported, the second journalist fatality in Syria in as many days.

Alerts   |   Syria

Military correspondent Yves Debay killed in Aleppo

Yves Debay (AFP/Emmanuel Vivenot)

New York, January 18, 2013--An international journalist was killed by a sniper while covering fighting in Aleppo in Syria on Thursday, according to local and international press reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on all sides of the conflict to stop targeting journalists and allow them to report freely within the country.

Debay, a Belgian-born French journalist, was based in Aleppo, where he covered clashes between the Syrian army and opposition forces in the city for his online newsmagazine Assaut (Assault), according to news reports. A veteran military correspondent, he contributed reports for the French military magazine Raid, and had written several books about military conflicts.

January 18, 2013 2:18 PM ET

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2013

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