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Press Freedom News and Views

Middle East & North Africa

Blog   |   Egypt

Solidarity in wake of Foley's murder inspires jailed Al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy

Al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy has been languishing in an Egyptian prison since December. He is waiting for an appeal hearing on his seven-year sentence for "conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood," but it is the murder of American freelancer James Foley, rather than his own unjust sentence, that has made the Cairo bureau chief furious. Fahmy sees the solidarity in response to Foley's killng as an opportunity to gain global support for distressed journalists in Egypt.

Blog   |   Iran

Public outcry can make big difference for Washington Post journalist jailed in Iran

Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi (AFP)

I met Jason Rezaian in 2003, at Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. We were among the handful of Iranian-American journalists then freelancing in the country, and we were both motivated by the desire to help improve the understanding between Iran and the U.S. Over the years, I have followed Rezaian's reports. His work in The Washington Post has been informative, insightful, and balanced.

It has now been more than a month since Rezaian and his Iranian wife, journalist Yeganeh Salehi, were arrested in Tehran. Based on what has been reported, and on my own detention in an Iranian prison in 2009, I have an understanding of what they might be experiencing.

Blog   |   Libya, Syria

James Foley - a journalist's journalist

James Foley in 2011. (AP/Steven Senne)

Amid the tributes and war stories that followed the brutal beheading of James Foley this week, one memory from a fellow hostage shone a light on a side of his character that his audience might not have seen: his empathy not only for the people he covered but also for the journalists he encountered.

Blog   |   Syria

Two years and no word of Osama al-Habaly

Osama al-Habaly's health, whereabouts, and status remain unknown. (Facebook/Freedom for Ousama Alhabaliy)

It's been exactly two years since citizen photojournalist Osama al-Habaly disappeared into regime custody as he crossed from Lebanon back to his home country of Syria. His friends and colleagues tell CPJ they have not heard a definitive word about him since.

Blog   |   Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Republic of Congo, Swaziland, USA, Uganda

First US-Africa summit short on press freedom, other human rights

CPJ board member Clarence Page, right, speaks  at a panel Wednesday organized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in partnership with CPJ in Washington, D.C. (CPJ/Rachael Levy)

Top African and U.S. leaders are meeting next week in Washington in a first-of-its-kind summit focused on African development. But critics argue the summit is flawed in design, overlooking human rights such as freedom of expression and barring civil society actors from bilateral discussions.

Blog   |   CPJ, Ethiopia, Internet, Russia, Security, Thailand, Turkey, USA

No press freedom without Internet freedom

Four years ago, when CPJ launched its Internet Advocacy program, we were met with lots of encouragement, but also some skepticism.

"Why do you need a program to defend the Internet?" one supporter asked. "You don't have a special program to defend television, or radio, or newspapers."

But the Internet is different. Increasingly, when it comes to global news and information the Internet is not a platform. It is the platform.

Blog   |   Iran

Iran must explain journalist arrests

Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Saleh (AFP)

It has now been six days since the Washington Post's Jason Rezaian, The National's Yeganeh Salehi and two others were arrested in Iran, but we are no closer to understanding who detained them or why. Even the number of journalists arrested is in dispute.

The Washington Post originally said its correspondent Rezaian, his wife Salehi, and two unnamed photojournalists had been detained on July 22, a report we repeated in our statement Thursday calling for their release. But our colleagues at Reporters Without Borders reported only three journalists were arrested--Rezaian, Salehi, an unnamed Iranian-American freelance photographer, and her non-journalist husband--saying the photographer's family had asked for her name to be withheld. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran also said the fourth individual, the husband, is not a journalist.

Blog   |   Iran

The 2009 Iran crackdown continues today

Five years ago on Monday, CPJ announced that Iran had officially become the world's leading jailer of journalists in the world. The announcement came on the heels of an unprecedented crackdown on the press that began on June 12, 2009, the day of Iran's tumultuous presidential election that sparked a mass protest movement.

Blog   |   Egypt

Egypt's Shame

This morning a judge in Egypt convicted journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood and sentenced them to between seven and 10 years in prison. All three were working for Al-Jazeera when they were arrested six months ago, but have a wide range of professional experience, including stints with CNN, The New York Times, and the BBC. Three other journalists--Al-Jazeera English presenter Sue Turton, Al-Jazeera reporter Dominic Kane, and a correspondent for Dutch Parool newspaper, Rena Netjes--were sentenced to 10 years in absentia.

Blog   |   Iran

Time to end a five-year crackdown in Iran

Thousands of protesters gather in Tehran to protest the result of the presidential election in 2009. (AP/Ben Curtis)

This Thursday, CPJ will launch a social media campaign calling for the end of the press crackdown that began on June 12, 2009, the day of Iran's tumultuous presidential elections.

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