CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Egypt

2011


Blog   |   Egypt

Video: Egyptian soldiers storm Al-Hurra studio

When Egyptian security forces stormed the Cairo offices of U.S. government-funded Al-Hurra television station Sunday night, the studio was live on the air, covering clashes just outside its building between the military and civilians that left dozens dead (including Al-Tareeq cameraman Wael Mikhael). During the raid, Al-Hurra anchor Amr Khalil continued to broadcast as he tried to calm the soldiers who stormed the office brandishing automatic weapons. Al-Hurra has provided English subtitles of his broadcast.

October 14, 2011 1:32 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt

Blogging in Egypt: Virtual network, virtual oppression

Noha Atef

I have been blogging in various platforms since 2006, focusing on human rights conditions and police abuses in Egypt. During this time, the Egyptian regime was widely described as one of the most "liberal-moderate" and sometimes "semi-democratic" regimes in the region, but meanwhile, hundreds of young people were hijacked, jailed, fined, and intimidated. Egypt has been named by CPJ as one of the worst countries to be a blogger, and now resides on its list out today of "10 Tools of Online Oppressors."

May 2, 2011 11:30 AM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt

Q&A: Ayman Mohyeldin, Al-Jazeera English correspondent

Al-Jazeera has taken an enormous hit as Middle East protests continue. Correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin tells CPJ what's its like working for the broadcaster. (Sheryl Mendez/CPJ)

For the millions of non-Arabic speakers around the world who followed Egypt's revolution live one journalist stood out--Ayman Mohyeldin of Al-Jazeera English. Mohyeldin, 32, used his knowledge of the region and of the West to make sense of the events unfolding in Cairo's Tahrir Square for an international audience. He also witnessed the unprecedented wave of assaults on journalists by supporters and hired thugs of the crumbling Mubarak regime. Mohyeldin was himself detained while reporting.

Mohyeldin visited CPJ's office in New York March 23 to speak with supporters, friends and staff about the role of the pan-Arab satellite channel since a Tunisian fruit-seller in the town of Sidi Bouzid set himself on fire in December in frustration at the dead hand of political repression. 

March 24, 2011 11:28 AM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Egypt, Internet, USA

At SXSW Interactive, theory and reality converge

I've just returned from a hectic week at SXSW Interactive, the annual gathering of digital technologists and creators in Austin, Texas. Conferences like this are often moments of isolation from the rest of the world, where attendees become consumed with the trivia of the event itself. But because many of those attending SXSWi are prolific online journalists, bloggers, and social media users, the conference's self-obsession doesn't stay confined to Austin. One tech startup even offered a browser plugin that would hide any Twitter with the "#SXSW" tags to hide the constant chatter from the rest of the world.

March 17, 2011 5:44 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe charges 45 with treason for viewing Egypt footage

Men and women arrested for watching footage of the unrest in Egypt wait outside a Harare courthouse. (Reuters)

The right to receive and impart information is a fundamental human right enshrined in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but in Zimbabwe, watching news of North African and Middle East protests apparently amounts to treason. 

March 4, 2011 1:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bahrain, Egypt, Internet, Libya, Turkey

Libya's disordered Internet

Craig Labowitz at Arbor has been sifting through the evidence of how countries in the Middle East have been blocking and throttling the Internet in the last week. His analysis indicates that while both Bahrain and Yemen had periods of slowed or impaired access, only Libya seems to have taken the drastic step of shutting off the Net entirely.

February 22, 2011 3:52 PM ET

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Blog   |   Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Mexico, Pakistan

Documenting sexual violence against journalists

Jineth Bedoya takes notes in December 2000 under the watch of a bodyguard in Bogotá in an armored car after she was kidnapped, beaten, and raped in April that year. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

The news of the sexual assault against CPJ board member and CBS correspondent Lara Logan hit us hard on Tuesday. At CPJ, we work daily to advocate on behalf of journalists under attack in all kinds of horrific situations around the world. Because of Lara's untiring work with our Journalist Assistance program, she's well known to everyone on our staff.

Blog   |   Egypt

Courage in documenting Egypt's revolution

Soldiers and children celebrate in Tahrir Square. (AP/Ben Curtis)

Today, on its 18th day, the Egyptian revolution has finally achieved its goal, deposing Hosni Mubarak and his regime. Egyptian journalists who have courageously found ways to work under the yoke of Mubarak's censorship and repression are releasing a sigh of relief that they've held in for three long decades. 

February 11, 2011 5:14 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt

Reporter goes inside Egypt's Mukhabarat torture regime

When Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reporter Robert Tait was taken into custody by Egyptian authorities at a police checkpoint near central Cairo on February 4, he didn't know he'd become witness to torture. But, cuffed and blindfolded for 28 hours, Tait heard and saw beatings and electrocutions. "My experience, while highly personal, wasn't really about me or the foreign media," Tait writes in the U.K. Guardian. " It was about gaining an insight--if that is possible behind a blindfold--into the inner workings of the Mubarak regime." It is exactly that kind of insight that can be gained when reporters are allowed to do their jobs, and it is why CPJ exists--to fiercely defend the rights of journalists to do their work. Take a read of our recent Egypt coverage here to get a sense of the massive scale in which journalists have been attacked and detained, and see Tait's whole piece in the Guardian here.

February 10, 2011 10:37 AM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt

CPJ's Simon on Huffington Post: What is at stake in Egypt

CPJ's executive director lays out "What Is at Stake With Egypt's Media Crackdown" in a February 3 piece on the Huffington Post. Joel Simon writes: "With no witnesses, those undertaking the violence in Egypt will have a free hand to carry out their brutal campaign without restraint. Standing up for the rights of journalists at this crucial moment may be our last, best hope of stemming an impending bloodbath that could go down in history as the gravest example of political repression." Read the rest of his article here.

February 8, 2011 12:02 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt

CPJ's Abdel Dayem talks Egypt on Democracy Now!

CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem spoke to Democracy Now! on February 5 about the deteriorating environment for journalists in Egypt. He told host Amy Goodman that state news outlets have become something unrecognizable: "State-owned media are no longer engaged in the business of news," Abdel Dayem said. "They are there to propagate things that are simply not true. " See the rest here:

February 8, 2011 10:11 AM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt, Internet

Egypt rejoins the Net

Internet connectivity has been restored to Egypt, though it's hard to tell from the outside just how reliable that connection is. Monitoring organizations Renesys and BGPMon provide technical details on their blogs. For a more dynamic display, RIPE, the community which helps co-ordinate the European Internet, has a live graph of the numbers of Internet routes to Egypt which currently shows the country's return.

February 2, 2011 2:05 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt, Internet

What the Internet loses from Egypt's disappearance

Last night at 20:54 UTC, Noor Group, the only remaining Internet service provider in Egypt with a consumer broadband service, depeered with the rest of the Internet. There are now only 12 Egyptian networks connected to the Net, none of which appear to be offering public connections.

February 1, 2011 2:01 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt

Mideast stations circumvent Al-Jazeera blockage

Journalists remain hampered by lack of phone and Internet service, but Egyptians are finding their own ways to get the news in Cairo. (AP)

As massive protests endure throughout Egypt, the regime continues to disrupt the media as well as phone and Internet service. CPJ is closely following the censorship of the news, and will update on our blog today as developments break. Here's what's new:

Blog   |   Egypt

Government lies are exposed in Egypt's Tahrir Square

Protesters have created impromptu news theaters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, seen here. (Reuters)

Hosni Mubarak's regime has had 29 years to perfect its always brazen but never convincing justifications for repressing journalists who expose the travesties he and his henchmen regularly visit upon the people of Egypt. It has also long enlisted state-owned media to disseminate the ruling party's half-truths and outright lies. But over the past week, Mubarak's propaganda machine has hit a new low. 

February 1, 2011 12:18 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Egypt

China limits reporting on Egypt unrest in favor of 'harmony'

Chinese information authorities are filtering results of Chinese-language Internet searches for "Egypt" and "Cairo," according to Global Voices Online and The Wall Street Journal. The unrest raging there could prompt comparison with the student-led protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 or incite anti-government demonstrations.

January 31, 2011 6:01 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt, Internet

Watching Egypt disappear from the Internet

My colleague at CPJ, Mohamed Abdel Dayem, was the first to mail me. "Just a second ago," he wrote, "about 10 contacts of mine all disappeared off instant messaging in unison. That cannot be a coincidence."

January 28, 2011 3:48 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt

Detained UK reporter records riots in Egypt

Riot police clash with protesters in Cairo today. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

As anti-government demonstrations continue in Cairo, Jack Shenker, a reporter for the U.K. Guardian, has captured some remarkable audio. Shenker, dragged around, punched and abused, was taken into a security truck with protesters on Tuesday night--then he turned on his recorder. He describes how "police have been incredibly violent" and how in the hot, tightly packed truck, several people fainted. Click here to hear his story.

January 26, 2011 1:03 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt, Internet

Preventing video takedowns when reporting

Watching the stream of reporting from Egypt today, I've noticed some unconfirmed reports that videos of the events uploaded to YouTube have been taken down by the company.

I haven't been able to find any concrete examples, so I can't say whether this is true. YouTube takedowns did happen for a few of the more disturbing footage in the Tunisian protests, however, so I thought I'd give some general advice for preventing such removals.

In general, if you're uploading video that includes violence or upsetting imagery, YouTube may remove your content as a simple violation of its Terms of Service and Community Guidelines rather than consider its importance in a wider news context.

In its Community Guidelines, YouTube writes:
"The world is a dangerous place. Sometimes people do get hurt and it's inevitable that these events may be documented on YouTube. However, it's not okay to post violent or gory content that's primarily intended to be shocking, sensational or disrespectful. If a video is particularly graphic or disturbing, it should be balanced with additional context and information. For instance, including a clip from a slaughter house in a video on factory farming may be appropriate. However, stringing together unrelated and gruesome clips of animals being slaughtered in a video may be considered gratuitous if its purpose is to shock rather than illustrate."

What this means is that context is important. When you are using YouTube in your reporting, the best context you can provide is a detailed explanation in the Title, Description and Tags when you upload the video. Your audience may know what is going on because you are linking from your news site or blog, but YouTube's staff will not. Even a link back to your main writing will help.

Most importantly, don't use misleading descriptions or tags in an attempt to get more views. A scene from a street demonstration that is tagged "Lady Gaga" in order to catch a wider audience will simply result in your video being deleted.

Less likely in cases of reporting live events is an accusation of copyright infringement. YouTube does have an automatic content-detection system that can sometimes be triggered by music or movie imagery included in a video. EFF has a detailed document on restoring videos if you think that may be the problem.

If you do have journalistic content taken down by a hosting provider, whether it's video, a blog, or an entire website, do let me know (I'm dobrien at cpj.org, or @danny_at_cpj on Twitter). I can't always help in every case, but sometimes being able to see a trend in takedowns means I can warn these hosts that they're making a mistake - or warn off journalists from depending on their sites.

(Thanks to Jillian York at the Berkman Center for much of the advice in this post. Victoria Grand, YouTube's senior management for communications, spoke at the GlobalVoices Citizen Media Summit last year, and discussed how their takedown process works in some detail, with a particular eye to reporting and activism in countries like Egypt. If you want to know more details, I'd recommend watching the video of her talk.)

January 25, 2011 3:39 PM ET

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