Middle East & North Africa

2011

Alerts   |   Syria

Syrian journalist arrested, held without charge

Amer Matar (Karim al-Afnan)
New York, September 6, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by Saturday's arrest of a Syrian journalist without charge and the continued reports of missing journalists in Syria.

Amer Matar, contributor to the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, was arrested by Syrian security forces in Damascus on Saturday, the Guardian of London reported. Matar, who is also a political activist, has worked with youth groups in Syria calling for peaceful anti-regime demonstrations and has called for demonstrations on his Facebook page. Before his arrest, he emailed his friend, Karim al-Afnan, a Syrian journalist banned from Syria, a copy of his will and said, "I may not come back from Friday prayers."
September 6, 2011 6:03 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, Iran

Catching the Internet's spies in Iran and elsewhere

In August, Google introduced a new, if rather obscure, security feature to its Chrome web browser, designed to be triggered only under extreme circumstances.

If you were talking to Google's servers using the web's secure "https" protocol, your browser makes a number of checks to ensure that you are really talking to Google's servers. Like an overly obsessive bouncer, the new code double-checks the identity of any supposed Google site against a Chrome-only list of valid Google identities hardwired into the browser.

September 1, 2011 10:34 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Iraq

Kurdish journalist brutally assaulted in Iraq

New York, August 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Monday's brutal assault on Kurdish journalist Asos Hardi and calls on Kurdish authorities to immediately take steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.

August 31, 2011 5:47 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Egypt

Jailed Egyptian blogger on hunger strike

Protesters carry a poster of Maikel Nabil Sanad, calling for his release. (Arabawy.org)
New York, August 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to immediately release journalist Maikel Nabil Sanad, who was tried in military court for "insulting the military" and is now serving a three-year sentence in prison. Sanad began a hunger strike in prison on August 22 and was transferred to solitary confinement two days later.

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudan frees one journalist; at least 8 still held

At least eight journalists are detained in Sudan despite al-Bashir's announcement. (Reuters)
New York, August 30, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of a jailed journalist in Sudan, but is troubled by reports of the continued detention of at least eight others without charge. President Omar al-Bashir had announced Saturday that he would free all journalists detained in Sudan.

Blog   |   Syria

Smashing the hand that holds the pen

Ferzat recovering at his home. (AFP)

Ali Ferzat likes to work through the night. His attackers knew that. Masked men grabbed Syria's most famous cartoonist as he set out for home from his office near Damascus' central Umayyad Square at around 5 a.m. on Thursday, and bundled him into a van. A few hours later, he lay in a bloody heap with a bag over his head on an airport road some 19 miles (30 kilometers) out of town.

Alerts   |   Oman

Omani judiciary attempts to silence newspaper before trial

New York, August 25, 2011--Charges against prominent Omani journalist and filmmaker Youssef al-Haj should be dropped immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  Al-Haj's trial over an article he wrote that allegedly accused the Ministry of Justice of corruption began on August 14 but was postponed until this Sunday. At the August 14 hearing, the judge ordered that the newspaper that published al-Haj's story, Al-Zaman, not print any details of the case, local human rights activists told CPJ. 

August 25, 2011 5:42 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Libya

Six Libyan journalists still missing

Rebel fighters outside Tripoli's Corinthia Hotel. (AP/Sergey Ponomarev)
New York, August 25, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of four Italian journalists kidnapped Wednesday, but remains concerned about the safety of at least six Libyan journalists who have been missing since the start of the uprising in February.

Statements   |   Syria

Masked men break hands of critical Syrian cartoonist

Ferzat in a photo taken August 14, before he was brutally attacked. (AP/Muzaffar Salman)
New York, August 25, 2011--Ali Ferzat, a famous Syrian cartoonist critical of the government, was abducted and severely beaten by masked gunmen as he left his office early on Thursday in Damascus, international media reported. The attackers stomped on his hands and said the beating was a warning, the Associated Press said. He was dumped bleeding on a roadside several hours later.
August 25, 2011 1:47 PM ET

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Statements   |   Libya

Journalist escapes Libyan prison after months in captivity

New York, August 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the news that U.S. journalist Matthew VanDyke escaped with several inmates from Abu Salim prison in Tripoli today. VanDyke's mother told CPJ that he called her with the news of his escape and that he is safe and in good spirits. He also told his mother that he had been kept in solitary confinement for much of his imprisonment. It was not clear whether the prison was now controlled by rebels.

August 24, 2011 6:31 PM ET

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