New York, June 2, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by reports that a popular Egyptian TV host has taken his show off the air, citing harassment. CPJ is also disturbed by reports that Egyptian authorities are moving to monitor social media.
On Tuesday night, CPJ honored four courageous journalists with the 2013 International Press Freedom Awards. The gala dinner, at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel, raised more than $1.65 million for CPJ's worldwide press freedom advocacy.
The awardees--Janet Hinostroza (Teleamazonas, Ecuador), Bassem Youssef (Egypt), Nedim Şener (Posta, Turkey) and Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay, Vietnam)--face severe reprisals for their work, including legal harassment, physical threats, and imprisonment. CPJ also presented Paul Steiger, founding editor-in-chief of ProPublica, with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom.
CPJ and attendees and followers live-tweeted the event, which we have curated below using the social networking tool Storify.
By Sherif Mansour
In June 2012, three days before Mohamed Morsi was declared winner of the presidential election, Bassem Youssef, satirist and host of Egypt’s “Al-Bernameg,” defended the Muslim Brotherhood candidate during an appearance on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show.” He asked the U.S. audience to give democracy in Egypt a chance. So long as Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood remained accountable to the people and respected human rights, Youssef reasoned, there was no reason they could not lead Egypt’s historic transition to democratic rule.
By Sherif Mansour
A swarm of police vehicles converged on Media Production City moments after Gen. Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi announced on July 3 that Mohamed Morsi had been ousted. The compound outside Cairo is home to nearly every TV station in Egypt, but the police were targeting five particular stations that night: the Muslim Brotherhood-run Misr25, and four pro-Morsi Islamist stations. One by one, the stations’ live coverage went off the air, while police herded and handcuffed about 200 employees, confiscated equipment, and seized cell phones. Taken to a security facility, the employees were interrogated about their associations with the Muslim Brotherhood. Most of the administrative and support workers were released in a few hours, but 22 journalists were kept for more than a day on accusations of conspiring to overthrow the regime.
New York, June 24, 2013--Several journalists were attacked and threatened in Cairo this weekend at a "Say No to Violence" rally organized by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to call on opposition groups to ensure nonviolence on June 30, the day of planned demonstrations and strikes across the country.
New York, April 2, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by news reports that its Middle East consultant, Shaimaa Abulkhair, would be investigated by national security prosecutors in Egypt for comments she made about the widely criticized criminal case against satirist Bassem Youssef.
Egyptian journalists, besieged by punitive lawsuits and under threat, agree that under President Mohamed Morsi "there is no press freedom, only the courage of journalists," as editor Ibrahim Eissa put it. What they can't agree on is--in a climate of freewheeling, mutable media--who exactly is a journalist?
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.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.