Middle East & North Africa

2010

Attacks on the Press   |   Tunisia

Attacks on the Press 2009: Tunisia

Top Developments
• Government engineers ouster of independent journalist union leaders.
• Two journalists are jailed in retaliation for critical reporting.

Key Statistic
97: Percentage of newspaper campaign coverage that was devoted to President Ben Ali.


President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali was re-elected to a fifth term with 90 percent of the vote amid severe restrictions on independent reporting. Ben Ali’s government went after the country’s journalist union, bringing down its democratically elected board, while his police bullied and harassed critical reporters. Two journalists, one of them a leading critic of the president, were in jail in late year.

Attacks on the Press   |   Yemen

Attacks on the Press 2009: Yemen

Top Developments
• Government censors newspapers, establishes new press court.
• Two journalists jailed without charge; one missing after being abducted.

Key Statistic
8: Newspapers banned for periods beginning in May due to their coverage of unrest in the south.


Continuing a steady years-long decline, Yemen became one of the most repressive countries in the region for the press. Journalists covering clashes in the country’s restive south faced severe restrictions. Government repression reached its peak in May, when at least eight newspapers that had covered violent protests were barred from distribution, several papers faced criminal charges, and one paper came under direct attack from state security agents. Government officials established a special court for perceived news media offenses.

February 16, 2010 12:05 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Iran

On revolution's anniversary, Iran stifles Internet

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (AP)

New York, February 11, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Iranian government’s attempt to slow down the Internet and block text messaging ahead of expected demonstrations during today’s 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

February 11, 2010 11:45 AM ET

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Blog   |   Iran

Bahari to Iran: 'Let my colleagues go'

In the February 10 edition of the International Herald Tribune, Canadian-Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, himself imprisoned in Iran for 118 days, urges Ayatollah Khamenei to release his jailed colleagues.

February 11, 2010 11:40 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Iran

Groups join forces, urge Iran to free journalists

'Our Society Will Be a Free Society' campaign launched

February 11, 2010, New York—A coalition of leading international journalists’, writers’, and publishers’ organizations today launched a campaign to press the government of Iran to release their colleagues imprisoned in the wake of last year’s disputed presidential election CPJ, PEN, Reporters Sans Frontières, Index on Censorship, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and the International Publishers Association have joined forces for the campaign out of what the groups have called “a sense of shared, urgent concern for the welfare of journalists, writers, and bloggers and a profound alarm over the situation for free expression in Iran.”

Letters   |   Iran

CPJ, coalition appeal to Ayatollah Khamenei

From the Committee to Protect Journalists, PEN, Index on Censorship, Reporters Sans Frontières, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and the International Publishers Association: Our organizations, dedicated to freedom of expression, are writing on the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution to urge you to free all writers, journalists, and editors currently in prison for carrying out their professions in Iran.

February 11, 2010 11:34 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Iraq, USA

U.S military releases detained Reuters photographer in Iraq

(Reuters)New York, February 10, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is relieved that the U.S military has released Iraqi photographer and cameraman Ibrahim Jassam today after holding him without charge for 17 months in Iraq, but calls on the U.S. government to ensure that this release marks the end of its policy of open-ended detentions of journalists.

Jassam, left, a freelancer who worked for Reuters, was arrested on September 2, 2008, by U.S and Iraqi forces during a raid on his home in Mahmoodiya, south of Baghdad. Jassam was never charged with a crime, and no evidence against him was ever disclosed; U.S. forces made only vague assertions that he was a “threat.”

February 10, 2010 12:58 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mauritania

Mauritanian editor gets second prison term on same charge

New York, February 8, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged by a second prison sentence given to Hanevy Ould Dehah, editor of the online publication Taqadoumy, and calls on the Mauritanian judiciary to reverse the verdict on appeal. 

February 8, 2010 4:59 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Yemen

In Yemen, disappeared journalist claims he was tortured

New York, February 5, 2010—Muhammad al-Maqaleh, editor of the opposition Yemeni Socialist Party’s news Web site Aleshteraki, who was detained in September has finally appeared in government custody. He is being held without charges, local news outlets reported, and alleges that he has been tortured.

February 5, 2010 2:26 PM ET

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2010

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