Tortured

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New York, April 18, 2013--The cases of an Iranian blogger imprisoned for seven months without trial and a prominent freelance journalist whose health has deteriorated in prison illustrate the ongoing abuses being perpetrated by Iranian authorities, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat is wielding his pen once more. According to news reports, the famous cartoonist, who suffered a severe beating in August, has regained 90 percent of the movement in his hands, which were deliberately targeted by his attackers before they dumped him on the side of a road.

 The Danish queen pays a visit to her Bahraini counterpart. (AFP/BNA)

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark visited Bahrain in February at the invitation of King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa. As part of the official program, the queen honored Hamad with the "Storkorset af Dannebrog," the second highest Danish royal order. Although the visit took place about two weeks before Bahraini authorities began a violent crackdown on protesters, Bahrain has long had a troubled human rights and press freedom record. The current crackdown includes serious attacks on the press

Cheema (Pauline Eiferman)

On September 4, 2010, Pakistani journalist Umar Cheema was abducted as he was going home after a dinner with friends near Islamabad. He was held captive for more than six hours, during which he was tortured by masked individuals. He was told to stop criticizing the government in the articles he wrote for the English-language daily The News and was dumped the next day by his car. (CPJ has covered his case extensively.)

Seven months after his ordeal, Cheema traveled to the United States and stopped by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism to talk to students about the dangers of reporting in his country.


President Otunbayeva should apply the rule of law in the Askarov case. (AP/Maxim Shubovich)

World leaders like to invoke terms such as press freedom, human rights, and the rule of law in their speeches, especially to international audience. But in post-Soviet Eurasia, such high-minded words are rarely accompanied by genuine action. A recent commentary in The Washington Post by Roza Otunbayeva, president of Kyrgyzstan, is a testament to this pattern.

When Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reporter Robert Tait was taken into custody by Egyptian authorities at a police checkpoint near central Cairo on February 4, he didn't know he'd become witness to torture. But, cuffed and blindfolded for 28 hours, Tait heard and saw beatings and electrocutions. "My experience, while highly personal, wasn't really about me or the foreign media," Tait writes in the U.K. Guardian. " It was about gaining an insight--if that is possible behind a blindfold--into the inner workings of the Mubarak regime." It is exactly that kind of insight that can be gained when reporters are allowed to do their jobs, and it is why CPJ exists--to fiercely defend the rights of journalists to do their work. Take a read of our recent Egypt coverage here to get a sense of the massive scale in which journalists have been attacked and detained, and see Tait's whole piece in the Guardian here.

New York, February 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the well-being of two Ivorian journalists who have been detained without charge for 10 days amid reports that they have been tortured in custody.

New York, December 17, 2010--Musa Saidykhan, who was detained for three weeks in 2006 by Gambian state security agents, was tortured and must receive compensation, a West African regional court ruled on Thursday.
Umar CheemaJust in case you were one of the few people in Pakistan or any other part of the world, for that matter, who thought that the six-hour abduction of Umar Cheema over the weekend of September 4 and 5 in Islamabad was going to be investigated and the culprits--men "dressed in police uniform"--brought to justice, here is a reality check:

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