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Press Freedom News and Views

Middle East & North Africa

Blog   |   Egypt

'People talk as they please' Sisi says in comments on Egypt's press freedom record

President el-Sisi, pictured with Portugal's president, right, during a state visit to Lisbon. The Egyptian leader told a broadcaster he supports freedom of expression. (Jose Manuel Ribeiro/AFP)

In Egypt last week a journalist was barred from travel without official explanation, a reporter was accused of criminal defamation over a 2015 investigation on child prostitution, and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi defended Egypt's freedom of expression record. An appeal date was also set for the Journalists' Syndicate leaders who were sentenced this month to two years in prison.

Blog   |   Egypt

Hunger-striking journalist injured in prison uprising

In this file photo, an Egyptian protests the government's crackdown on free expression to mark World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2016 (AP/Nariman El-Mofty)

News of the hospitalization of an imprisoned photojournalist after security forces cracked down on an uprising in Borg al-Arab prison tops the list of attacks on the press last week in Egypt. Also last week: Two leaders of the Journalists' Syndicate were sentenced to two years in prison each but remain free on bail; a presidential pardon included two journalists who had nearly completed their prison terms; a court ordered the release of Ismail Alexandrani, but the prosecution successfully appealed; and finally, Mahmoud Abou Zeid Shawkan was at last allowed to tell the judge hearing his case that he is a photojournalist.

Blog   |   Egypt

Journalists detained during Egypt's day of protests

A masked policeman gestures to a photographer in Cairo ahead of planned protests on November 11. At least four journalists were detained covering areas where rallies were due to take place. (AP/Amr Nabil)

Four journalists were detained November 11 amid a heavy deployment of security forces in Egypt's cities in response to calls for nationwide protests over economic reforms. The protests were fewer and smaller than anticipated, but journalists were still harassed and, in some cases, arrested, according to local and international media. One journalist remains in custody. Separately, a gag order on an investigation into the funding of civil society organizations remains in place, and courts are due to hear two criminal defamation cases brought by public officials against reporters.

Blog   |   Egypt

In Egypt, censorship, an arrest, and court hearings for journalists

Posters calling for the release of photojournalists Mohammad al-Batawi, right, and Shawkan, are held up in Cairo. A U.N. working group says that Shawkan's detention is arbitrary. (AP/Amr Nabil)

Restrictions against the press continue in Egypt, with ongoing trials of journalists, some of whom have been in detention for more than three years, allegations that a TV station was ordered to drop a planned broadcast of an interview with a former official, and a reporter detained while trying to cover a sensitive story. Egypt has been a leading jailer of journalists for more than a year, and the country's press is regularly harassed. CPJ has documented the following press freedom violations in the past week:

Blog   |   China, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Pakistan

Protecting journalists who cover corruption is good for the bottom line

Number of journalists who covered corruption who were killed in relation to their work since 1992, by country. (Mehdi Rahmati/CPJ research)

Corruption is one of the most dangerous beats for journalists, and one of the most important for holding those in power to account. There is growing international recognition that corruption is also one of the biggest impediments to poverty reduction and good governance. This is why journalists on this beat must be protected, including by multilateral lending institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which just concluded their annual meetings in Washington D.C.

Blog   |   Iran

Why proposed bill could mean the end of independent journalism in Iran

President Hassan Rouhani, pictured at a press conference in March 2016, has submitted a draft bill to parliament that proposes creating a state-regulated organization to oversee the country's press. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

The Iranian government will address the United Nation's General Assembly this month for the last time before President Hassan Rouhani seeks re-election next year. The international appearance would be a good chance for Rouhani's administration to discuss its record in office.

Blog   |   Jordan

Mission Journal: Gag orders make Jordan's journalists skeptical of reform

Election posters on a street in Amman. CPJ visited Jordan to review the press freedom situation ahead of the September 20 vote. (CPJ/Sherif Mansour)

Sitting uncomfortably in her chair because of a soccer injury, the Jordanian radio host Diala Dabbas said, "I know we are banned from talking about the king, his family, and the divine, but now I am also afraid to talk about anyone else who could be considered a 'religious symbol'."

Blog   |   Oman

CPJ joins call for Sultan of Oman to end persecution of Azamn journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders today sent a letter to Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman, to draw his attention to the prosecution of three journalists from the independent daily newspaper, Azamn.

Blog   |   Morocco

Mission Journal: Morocco's new press law undermined by draft penal code

King Mohammed VI waves a Moroccan flag as he inaugurates a solar plant in Ouarzazate, central Morocco, on February 4, 2016. The king and national symbols like the flag are sensitive subjects for the media. (AP/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

In the small, polished Moroccan capital of Rabat, pictures of King Mohamed VI, who took the throne in 1999, hang in many shops, offices, and hotels. In most of these, he is clean-shaven, smiling, and wearing a suit: a modern monarch. His image is part of the official narrative of the country as a place of moderation and progress.

Blog   |   Bahrain

CPJ concerned about legal harassment of Bahraini journalist

Today the Committee to Protect Journalists joined 42 other organizations in a joint statement expressing concern at the Bahraini Public Prosecutor's decision to charge Nazeeha Saeed, an award-winning journalist with Radio Monte Carlo Douliya and France24, with unlawfully working for international media.

July 28, 2016 12:11 PM ET

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