Saudi Arabia

The most repressive nations use imprisonment, Internet restrictions, and other tactics to censor the press. Eritrea and North Korea top the list. PortuguêsEspañolالعربيةFrançaisРусский

Impact   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Latvia, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, April 2015

CPJ launches annual publication Attacks on the Press


At a U.N. press conference on April 27 to launch CPJ's annual publication Attacks on the Press, CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon called on the U.N. Security Council to include in its May 27 debate on Journalist Safety a warning to states that they should not use national security as an excuse to jail, harass, or censor journalists.

The last three years have been the most deadly for the press, according to CPJ research. One of the reasons is the developing "terror dynamic"--non-state actors targeting journalists with violence while governments restrict civil liberties and press freedom in response. This phenomenon was amply documented in essays published in this year's edition of Attacks on the Press.

The book, which emphasizes reporting and analysis by CPJ staff and outside experts, features essays on multiple threats facing the press: the conflict in Syria, where freelancers and local journalists must adapt to an environment in which they are targets; terror and criminal groups, in countries as Syria, Nigeria, and Mexico, which document their own atrocities and disseminate them through social media; and crackdowns on the press in Ethiopia and Egypt, where governments use the threat of terror to justify repression. Several essays in the book also look at the impact of surveillance in more democratic societies, including those in Europe. The book also includes CPJ's list of the 10 Most Censored Countries.

The print edition of Attacks on the Press is published by Bloomberg Press, an imprint of Wiley, and is available for purchase.

May 7, 2015 4:24 PM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen

Treating the Internet as the enemy in the Middle East

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans against the military and government during a protest in Cairo on November 28, 2014. (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

The snow and freezing temperatures that struck Saudi Arabia unexpectedly in December 2013 were newsworthy in a desert kingdom better known for its extreme heat. But the fact that the ensuing power outages at a regional prison left prisoners without power or heat for nearly a week was apparently off-limits to reporters.

Blog   |   China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Turkey

After Charlie Hebdo attack, vigils, protests and publishing bans

Click on the image above to view a StoryMap of reaction to the Charlie Hebdo attack. (StoryMap/Samantha Libby)

Protests against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were held in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and parts of Africa over the weekend, as crowds demonstrated against the magazine's portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad, according to news reports.

Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cameroon, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

China is world's worst jailer of the press; global tally second worst on record

More than 200 journalists are imprisoned for their work for the third consecutive year, reflecting a global surge in authoritarianism. China is the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2014. A CPJ special report by Shazdeh Omari

An Egyptian protester calls for the release of freelance photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, who has been imprisoned since August 2013. (AP/Amr Nabil)

Blog   |   Saudi Arabia

Saudi censorship blurs lines between journalism, activism

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has decreed several laws that censor the press. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Since the surprise Arab uprisings of 2011, the Saudi government has worked assiduously to ensure it has all the tools of censorship it needs to control dissent. These tools--a combination of special courts, laws, and regulatory authorities--are starting to fire on all cylinders. The result has been a string of arrests and prosecutions in recent months of independent and dissident voices.

Alerts   |   Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia convicts TV presenter for critical show

New York, February 6, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the 12-year jail term handed to the owner of a broadcaster in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. The journalist has 30 days to appeal.

Alerts   |   Saudi Arabia

Saudi columnist held without charge for four days

New York, October 31, 2013--Saudi authorities should immediately release a columnist who wrote in support of the women's right to drive and has been held without charge since Monday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Case   |   Saudi Arabia

Saudi Web manager released after a year in prison

News accounts reported that Jalal Mohamed al-Jamal, manager of the local news website Al-Awamia, was freed from prison on March 5, 2013. It was unclear why the journalist, who was jailed without charge for more than a year, had been released.

Attacks on the Press   |   Saudi Arabia

Attacks on the Press in 2012: Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom continued severe censorship of any critical reporting, taking special measures to obstruct coverage of protests in Eastern Province calling for political reform and greater rights for the country's Shia minority. Foreign and local journalists were forbidden to enter the province, where demonstrations had begun in February 2011. Imprisonments ticked up during the year. In February, the authorities arrested three online journalists reporting on Eastern Province protests and blocked their news websites. During the same month, a former columnist faced death threats for Twitter postings detailing an imaginary conversation with the Prophet Muhammad. He was later jailed on blasphemy changes that could bring the death penalty. Restrictive laws suffocate independent coverage in traditional media, a sector in which editors are government-appointed. Beginning in 2011, online journalists became subject to the same harsh controls that apply to traditional news media. Self-censorship is widespread, and international news outlets operating inside its borders limit their reporting in order to maintain accreditation.

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET
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