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Middle East & North Africa

2011

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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. 

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.

New York, January 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Egyptian government to stop obstructing reporters' work and to immediately return equipment confiscated from Al-Jazeera and other news outlets. Internet and SMS messages services remain disabled and must be restored without delay, CPJ said today. 

Tawakol Karman, the chairwoman of Women Journalists Without Chains, shouts during an anti-government protest in Sanaa on Saturday. (Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters)
New York, January 31, 2011--Journalists in the Middle East are experiencing increased harassment amid rapidly spreading street protests throughout the region, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ is gravely concerned about reports of attacks against journalists not only in Egypt, as CPJ has previously reported, but also in Yemen and Sudan.

New York, January 30, 2011--Nilesat, the satellite transmission company owned by the Egyptian Radio and Television Union and other government agencies, has stopped transmitting the signal of Al-Jazeera's primary channel, the station and others reported today. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the actions of Egyptian authorities to disrupt media coverage by Al-Jazeera and calls on them to reverse the decision immediately. 

Plainclothes police chase what Reuters says is unidentified foreign journalist today in Cairo. (Reuters /Goran Tomasevic )

New York, January 28, 2011--Egyptian authorities have taken unprecedented measures to block media coverage of widespread protests against the government, which are on their fourth day. CPJ condemns Cairo's news blackout and calls for authorities to immediately restore Internet and mobile phone services, end the targeting of the press, and allow media to conduct their work freely. 

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."

New York, January 27, 2010--Sudanese authorities harassed, obstructed, and censored local and international news media covering this month's referendum concerning independence for South Sudan, a CPJ analysis has found. CPJ condemns the harassment of the press in Sudan and calls for an end to the repressive tactics. 

New York, January 26, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the violence against journalists covering demonstrations in Egypt. Plainclothes and uniformed security personnel have beaten at least 10 journalists between Tuesday and today and detained others. Egyptian authorities have also shut down the websites of two popular independent newspapers and a number of social media sites. 

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.

2011

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