Middle East & North Africa

2010

Alerts   |   Iraq

KDP paper publishes threat against journalists

New York, August 10, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by death threats made against journalists at the Sulaymaniyah-based Livin after the magazine published an interview that was critical of a 20th-century Kurdish leader.

August 10, 2010 5:12 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan bans BBC Arabic, tightens grip on the press

New York, August 9, 2010—The Sudanese government has announced it is suspending the BBC’s license to broadcast in Arabic on local FM frequencies in four northern cities, including the capital, Khartoum. Security personnel also informed editors in recent days that journalists who had not completed an extensive government questionnaire would be detained, journalists told CPJ.  

August 9, 2010 5:54 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Iran

Evin Prison hunger strike highlights inhumane conditions

New York, August 5, 2010A hunger strike by Evin Prison inmates, including at least five journalists, underscores inhumane conditions at the prison, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today as it called for the release of all journalists unjustly jailed for their work.

Alerts   |   Iraq

Barzani’s KDP targets paper that alleged oil smuggling

Barzani's KDP wants a to shut a newspaper that raised questions about its activities. (AP/Thierry Charlier)

New York, August 5, 2010The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish Regional Government, to drop a defamation complaint against an opposition weekly, Rozhnama. The complaint, filed under Saddam Hussein-era criminal statutes, seeks US$1 billion in damages and the closing of the newspaper.

August 5, 2010 3:39 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bahrain, India, Internet, UAE

Why governments don't need RIM to crack the BlackBerry

The UAE said on Sunday it will block key features on BlackBerrys, citing national security concerns. (AP/Kamran Jebreili, File)

The United Arab Emirates' Telecommunications Regulation Authority (TRA) announced on Sunday that it would be suspending BlackBerry "messenger, e-mail and Web-browsing services" in the country from October 11, until these "applications were in full compliance with UAE regulations." Given the popularity of the BlackBerry platform in the country (an estimated 500,000 users from a population of 4.5 million) one can only assume that we are seeing a form of brinkmanship--with the privacy of e-mails, IMs, and website visits at stake.

August 3, 2010 4:37 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lebanon

Reporter killed during Israeli-Lebanese border clash

Al-Akhbar

New York, August 3, 2010Assaf Abu Rahal, a reporter for the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, was killed today during a border clash between Israeli and Lebanese military forces near the southern town of Al-Adaysseh, according to news reports. 

Abu Rahal, left, was struck by an Israeli shell after a skirmish broke out shortly after noon, news reports said. The fighting was apparently triggered by an Israeli tree-cutting operation along the border, according to news reports. Lebanese authorities claimed Israeli forces crossed the border during the operation, an assertion Israel disputed.

August 3, 2010 3:50 PM ET

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Alerts   |   UAE

UAE to suspend BlackBerry functionality

New York, August 2, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the United Arab Emirates’ decision to suspend BlackBerry services for e-mail, instant messaging, and browsing the Web. The communications authority in the UAE announced on Sunday that it would suspend the data applications as of October 11. CPJ calls on the authorities to recall the ban, which is an attempt to control the flow of information and monitor communication in the country. 

August 2, 2010 5:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   Tunisia

Circle of media repression widens over Tunisia’s history

A barman in a coffeehouse in Tunis switches out the official photo of former Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba, right, to one of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, after a bloodless coup in 1987. (AP/Laurent Rebours)
The escalating attacks on critical journalists in Tunisia are unprecedented since the establishment of the first Arab-language newspaper in the North African country, 150 years ago this July.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

CPJ condemns journalist's conviction in West Bank

New York, July 30, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Palestinian authorities in the West Bank to release Amer Abu Arafa, a correspondent for the Shihab news agency who was convicted and imprisoned in connection with his news coverage. The agency, based in the Gaza Strip, is perceived by the Palestinian Authority as being pro-Hamas.

July 30, 2010 5:12 PM ET

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Letters   |   Syria

Decade into al-Assad's rule, media suffering in Syria

Your Excellency: As you celebrate the 10th anniversary of your ascent to power this month, we are writing to draw your attention to conditions that continue to undermine press freedom in Syria. In 10 years, conditions for the media have hardly improved, with the government still deciding who is and isn’t a journalist, filtering the Internet, and imprisoning reporters for their critical work.

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