CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Middle East & North Africa

Blog   |   CPJ

On World Press Freedom Day and journalists' safety

Last week, I met a Cameroonian journalist who worked in the Congo until he fled following a series of threats and an attack on his home by armed men who assaulted his sister. Elie Smith, a TV host who documented alleged abuses by police and was outspoken in his criticism of the government, said he thought he had been under surveillance and that he had received multiple threats via text message.

Blog   |   Bahrain

Glitz of Formula One must not divert attention from Bahrain's jailed journalists

The Formula One track, above, in Bahrain is a source of national pride but a short drive from the spectacle of race day is the overcrowded Jaw Prison. (AFP/Tom Gandolfini)

When the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) hosted Formula One for the first time in 2004, it was nearly a false start for the $150 million facility. Drivers told the BBC they feared desert sand would damage their racecars. So track employees began a perpetual fight against nature, even spraying glue over the surrounding desert in the hope of keeping it at bay.

Blog   |   Iraq

In Iraq, Islamic State exacts heavy toll on journalists and their families

Students light candles at the edge of the Tigris to mark a June 2014 massacre of army cadets by Islamic State. As the militants are pushed out of Iraq, the toll of destruction on Iraqis, including journalists, is only just coming to light. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

The militant group Islamic State swept through Iraq last summer, taking over city after city and leaving a wave of destruction of a scale only just being discovered. Even now it is difficult to understand how much damage was inflicted, including on the Iraqi journalist community, where rumors of missing or killed journalists are swirling and their families are afraid to speak out.

Blog   |   Egypt

Egyptian journalist Shawkan on his 600 days in prison

"Photography is not just a hobby for me. It is an actual way of life. It's not just how you hold a camera and snap a picture. It's the way that you see life and everything around you."

April 10, 2015 3:13 PM ET

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Blog   |   Security, Syria

Syria anniversary shows need for more news outlets to step up

People walk on rubble after what activists said were airstrikes and shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, February 9, 2015. (Reuters/Mohammed Badra)

It started as a street protest against President Bashar al-Assad. Ordinary citizens took out their smart phones to record the demonstrations that quickly spread. Four years and 220,000 dead later, the Syrian civil war is still raging, although the numbers of 'citizen' and professional journalists on hand to document it is woefully small.

Blog   |   Journalist Assistance, Syria

Supporting journalists at risk: Syrian reporter Rifaie Tammas

In its new series, "Supporting journalists at risk," CPJ profiles journalists who have been in dire situations as a result of persecution for their work. CPJ's Journalist Assistance program has helped these journalists, and hundreds of others, through a combination of financial and non-financial assistance.

In this edition, CPJ recounts how 26-year-old Syrian Rifaie Tammas fled his country in 2013 following the threat of detention by the Syrian government. Today, Tammas has established a new life in Turkey.

Blog   |   Journalist Assistance, Syria

Supporting journalists at risk: Syrian reporter Zakwan Hadid

In its new series, "Supporting journalists at risk," CPJ profiles journalists who have been in dire situations as a result of persecution for their work. CPJ's Journalist Assistance program has helped these journalists, and hundreds of others, through a combination of financial and non-financial assistance.

In this edition, CPJ looks at Zakwan Hadid, a 29-year-old Syrian journalist from Idlib, who fled to Turkey after receiving death threats from militants and opposition groups in connection with his reporting. Today, Hadid works at a radio station in Istanbul.

Blog   |   Iraq, Security, USA

Video: Bob Simon recounts 1991 capture in Iraq

When I heard the news last week that Bob Simon had died, I immediately thought back to an interview I had done with him in 2010. It was at an event called the "Courage Forum.," an ideas festival which took place the Museum of Modern Art hosted in New York City. It featured speakers who had demonstrated courage in various walks of life, among them tight rope artist Philippe Petit.

February 20, 2015 1:10 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq

Fight for justice in Kurdistan as suspect in journalist's murder is exonerated

The family of Kawa Garmyane, a journalist shot dead in Kurdistan in December 2013, has vowed to continue the fight for justice after Mahmoud Sangawi, a military commander charged with ordering the killing, was exonerated on Sunday by a court in Kalar. The court also upheld the death penalty handed to Twana Khaleefa, who was charged with carrying out the killing.

Blog   |   Syria

Family of journalist jailed in Syria await news, four years on

Moheeb Alnawaty, author of Hamas From The Inside, was taken into Syrian custody and has not been heard from since January 2011. (Alnawaty family handout)

When Ibtisam Alnawaty last spoke to her husband, Moheeb Alnawaty, in January 2011, there was nothing to suggest that he feared for his safety. The Palestinian-Norwegian writer had traveled to Syria in December 2010 to translate his book, Hamas From The Inside, and had even suggested the family should move there from Norway, his wife told CPJ. But on January 5, 2011, Moheeb Alnawaty's phone was turned off and he has not been in contact since.

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