Ignacio Miguel Delgado Culebras/CPJ Middle East and North Africa Representative

Ignacio Miguel Delgado Culebras has worked as a freelance journalist throughout the Middle East, writing on civil society, democratization, and human rights issues. He served as a media analyst for the Open Source Center's Europe bureau for nine years and worked as a researcher, editor, and election monitor for the Cairo-based Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies.

Journalists in Syria tell CPJ of fear of humanitarian catastrophe if COVID-19 spreads

Syria hasn’t been greatly impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Syrian Health Ministry has counted 123 cases, and six deaths as of June 1, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The country has begun to relax restrictions it imposed in mid-March, including curfews and…

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Freelance photographer and videographer Zmnako Ismael (left) is seen covering the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo via Ismael)

Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan tell CPJ of obstruction and opportunities covering COVID-19

On May 10, Saman Barzinji, the health minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government, announced that the COVID-19 pandemic no longer posed a threat to the region, and that the area would gradually reopen, according to news reports.

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A journalist films outside the Sulaymaniyah International Airport in January 2019. Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan say disputes between the region's main political parties, the PDK and PUK, leave the press vulnerable. (AFP/Shwan Mohammed)

Press freedom on ‘brink of extinction’ in Iraqi Kurdistan, journalists say

“Ever since I started working as a journalist nine years ago, I have been under constant pressure from my family, my tribe, and my community to give up journalism. Friends have been asked by security forces to sever ties with me,” said freelance journalist Guhdar Zebari, when he met with CPJ in the empty lobby…

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A cafe in the old city of Erbil, in September 2018. Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan say they are under pressure from authorities. (Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani)

In Iraqi Kurdistan, journalists are victim of political tension

Mission journal: Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan are under pressure from authorities in the autonomous northern Iraqi region, with news outlets shuttered and critical reporters arrested. With government formation talks underway, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa representative Ignacio Miguel Delgado travels to Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Duhok to hear from local journalists on how the partisan…

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A protester uses his cell phone to film at a demonstration in Basra in January. Militias and Iraqi security forces are attacking and detaining journalists who cover protests in the city. (AFP/Hussein Faleh)

Iraqi militias use threats, violence to keep Basra press in line

“You work against us. In your work, you criticize militias. We watched your videos and you talk against us. You will pay the price for it,” an anonymous voice said on the other end of the line to freelance reporter Azhar Al-Rubaie.

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