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Syria

2011

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Journalists die at high rates while covering protests in the Arab world and elsewhere. Photographers and freelancers appear vulnerable. Pakistan is again the deadliest nation. A CPJ special report

In Egypt, protesters demanding democratic change gather in Tahrir Square. (AFP)

December 14, 2011

Bashar al-Assad
President of the Syrian Arab Republic
Presidential Palace, al-Rashid Street
Damascus, Syria

Via facsimile: +963 11 332 3410

Dear President Assad:

The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to bring to your attention disturbing reports of journalists being arrested and subjected to abuse in Syrian prisons. In the past 10 months, CPJ has documented 29 cases of journalists who were arrested for their work and nine cases of foreign journalists who have been expelled from Syria since March. We have also documented nine cases of journalists who are currently in prison.

Stark regional differences are seen as jailings grow significantly in the Middle East and North Africa. Dozens of journalists are held without charge, many in secret prisons. A CPJ special report

Journalists reporting on protests and civil unrest face a rising threat of detention. Here, Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian journalist. (Reuters)


Syrian journalist Razan Ghazzawi speaks at a youth conference on journalism earlier this year. The blogger was detained by police late Sunday. (Reuters)

New York, December 5, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detention of journalist and press freedom campaigner Razan Ghazzawi and calls on Syrian authorities to immediately release her. CPJ also urges the government to end the routine harassment and detention of journalists and to make public the names of all detained journalists and any crimes they may be charged with.

New York, November 21, 2011--A Syrian cameraman was found dead Sunday with his eyes gouged out in the town of al-Qasir, according to several news reports. Ferzat Jarban, who was last seen being arrested, is the first journalist to be killed in Syria since CPJ started documenting journalist fatalities in 1992.

New York, November 2, 2011--The Syrian government's acceptance of an Arab League proposal to end a crackdown on unrest must be closely monitored by international and domestic media, said the Committee to Protect Journalists in response to news of the agreement today. The measures include granting media access to the country as well as the release of political prisoners, among them an undetermined number of journalists. 

New York, October 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the continued disappearance of Syrian journalists and bloggers.

When a bug fix can save a journalist's life

One of the most exciting aspects of working on Internet technologies is how quickly the tools you build can spread to millions of users worldwide. It's a heady experience, one that has occurred time and again here in Silicon Valley. But there's also responsibility that attaches to that excitement. For every hundred thousand cases in which a tool improves someone's day, there is another case in which it's used in a life-or-death situation. And for online journalists working on high-risk material, or in high-risk places, that life may be their own or that of a source. That's why CPJ, together with Alexey Tikhonov from Kazakhstan's Respublika, Esra'a al-Shafei from the pan-Arab forum MidEast Youth, and activist Rami Nakhle from Syria, spent this week visiting and meeting with technologists, entrepreneurs, and thinkers in Silicon Valley.

President al-Assad (AP)

On August 28, President Bashar al-Assad approved a new media law that purportedly upholds freedom of expression and bans the arrest of journalists. Yet less than a week later, on Saturday, a Syrian journalist and contributor to the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat was arrested, CPJ reported. Just two days before the endorsement of the law, Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat was brutally attacked by masked assailants. A close look at the legislation, Decree No. 108, suggests the Assad regime is simply paying lip service to reform.

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."

2011

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Killed in Syria

63 journalists killed since 1992

7 journalists murdered

7 murdered with impunity

Attacks on the Press 2012

28 Journalists killed, making Syria the world's deadliest for the press in 2012.

Country data, analysis »

Contact

Middle East
and North Africa

Program Coordinator:
Sherif Mansour

Research Associate:
Jason Stern

smansour@cpj.org
jstern@cpj.org

Tel: +1 (212) 300-9018,
+1 (212) 300-9017
Fax: 212-465-9568

330 7th Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY, 10001 USA

Twitter: @CPJMena

فيسبوك : لجنة حماية الصحفيين بالعربية

Blog: Sherif Mansour
Blog: Jason Stern

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