Syrian journalist Amer Matar on facing his torturer in court
Syrian journalist Amer Matar was regularly blindfolded, handcuffed, and beaten with cables, whips, and fists during the eight months he was held in a Syrian prison. When a German court sentenced one of his torturers – Syrian army colonel Anwar Raslan – to life in prison earlier this month, Matar finally felt that at least…
In Middle East and North Africa, a drop in attacks on journalists belies dire state of press freedom
The Middle East and North Africa region has long been especially dangerous for journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists’ research has found that one out of every three reporters killed worldwide in retaliation for their work since 1992 — 477 out of 1,422, or 33.5% – were located in the region. That proportion rose to…
Restrictive terms of Shawkan’s release from Egyptian jail highlighted to UN
On October 10, Mahmoud Abu Zeid turned 33. It was the Egyptian photojournalist’s first birthday out of prison since his August 2013 arrest. But in spite of his celebrated freedom in March, the police monitoring conditions of his probation have, in effect, rendered his release obsolete.
In Egypt, ‘freedom’ ends daily at 6pm for Shawkan and Abdelfattah
Relief over the release of Egyptian journalists Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as Shawkan, and Alaa Abdelfattah from prison last month has been clouded by the conditions of their freedom. “I am happy to see your joy over my release, but I am unfortunately not free,” Abdelfattah wrote to his large following on social media yesterday.…
Sudan responds to anti-Bashir coverage with censorship and arrests
“We were all journalists, so we went to work. We wrote about what happened to us that day,” Ashraf Abdelaziz, editor-in-chief of the privately owned al-Jarida daily told me over the phone this week, while recounting how he and his colleagues reported on their own arrest while still in detention.
Censorship tightens in Egypt as el-Sisi prepares for re-election bid
Ahead of elections in Egypt later this month, in which President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is seeking a second term, the authoritarian leader’s government has further clamped down on press freedom, issuing warnings to the media and arresting critical journalists on “false news” charges. Even satirical TV shows have not been spared, with AFP reporting how…
Mission Journal: Gag orders make Jordan’s journalists skeptical of reform
Sitting uncomfortably in her chair because of a soccer injury, the Jordanian radio host Diala Dabbas said, “I know we are banned from talking about the king, his family, and the divine, but now I am also afraid to talk about anyone else who could be considered a ‘religious symbol’.”
Egyptian government clash with Journalists Syndicate marks turning point in censorship fight
A standoff this week between Egyptian authorities and the country’s influential Journalists Syndicate could mark a turning point in the fight for media control that has raged since before President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took office.
CPJ joins call to renew Iran special rapporteur mandate
The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined 34 other organizations in calling on the U.N. Human Rights Council to vote in favor of renewing the mandate of the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The vote is scheduled to take place during the 31st session of the…
CPJ joins call for UN members to push Iran on rights
The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined 35 other organizations in calling on member states of the U.N. General Assembly to vote in favor of a resolution for the promotion and protection of human rights in Iran. The vote is scheduled to take place during the 70th session of the General Assembly on November 19.