CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Jason Stern

Jason Stern is a senior research associate for CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program. He has a master’s in Middle East Studies from George Washington University and a bachelor’s in government from Cornell University.

Blog   |   Oman

CPJ joins call for Sultan of Oman to end persecution of Azamn journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders today sent a letter to Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman, to draw his attention to the prosecution of three journalists from the independent daily newspaper, Azamn.

Blog   |   Bahrain

CPJ concerned about legal harassment of Bahraini journalist

Today the Committee to Protect Journalists joined 42 other organizations in a joint statement expressing concern at the Bahraini Public Prosecutor's decision to charge Nazeeha Saeed, an award-winning journalist with Radio Monte Carlo Douliya and France24, with unlawfully working for international media.

July 28, 2016 12:11 PM ET

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Blog   |   Jordan

Mission Journal: Rise in journalist arrests tarnishes Jordan's image as reformist

Copies of Jordanian newspapers. During a CPJ mission there in February, the country's journalists said conditions for the press are deteriorating. (CPJ/Jason Stern)

The phone call came just as our conversation about the escalating crackdown on Jordanian media hit its stride. Lina Ejeilat, the co-founder of the news website 7iber (pronounced hebber), apologized and said she had to take the call. It was 7iber's lawyer and it was important. For years the website had fought against a requirement that all Jordanian news websites register with the government. I watched as Ejeilat learned the fight was finally over. 7iber would have to pay a 1,000 Jordanian dinar fine (about USD$1,400) for operating without a license.

Blog   |   Syria

The militarization of the press in Syria

A young Syrian journalist carries a camera and a gun on February 9, 2014, in Aleppo. (AFP/Aleppo Media Center/Mohammed Wesam)

Ahmed Abu al-Hamza, "Software" as he was known by his friends, stood behind the camera on November 6 as a gunman explained how rebel forces took Tel Sukayk, a strategic hilltop north of Hama, from government forces. Suddenly the camera's sound recorder picked up the faint thud of a mortar shell firing in the distance. A few seconds of confusion then turned to horror as the shell exploded right in front of the camera, killing Abu al-Hamza and the rebel fighter and injuring several others.

Blog   |   Yemen

Yemeni journalists: 'Our mouths are gagged'

Shiite rebels known as Houthis rally against Saudi-led airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, on August 11. (AP/Hani Mohammed)

In March 2014, Sana'a University media student Hisham al-Yousifi stood next to Dar al-Hajar, a royal palace built on the precipice of a rock formation just outside the capital, and announced to the video camera, "Here, there are a lot of tourists!" But there were no tourists, just his friends barely failing to hold back their giggling as they pretended to be Europeans visiting the extraordinary historic site.

Blog   |   Saudi Arabia

In censored Saudi Arabia, Raif Badawi filled a journalistic void

Ensaf Haidar, center, takes part in a demonstration calling for the release of her husband, Raif Badawi, in Ottawa January 29, 2015. (Reuters/Chris Wattie)

On the third anniversary of the arrest of liberal activist and writer Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, his supporters all over the world are working hard to prevent what may lay ahead: the completion of a 10-year, thousand-lash sentence. To be effective in changing Badawi's future, it is important to take inspiration from his past, as he stood steadfast by his beliefs despite the adversity he faced and repeated opportunities to choose an easier path.

Blog   |   Bahrain

Glitz of Formula One must not divert attention from Bahrain's jailed journalists

The Formula One track, above, in Bahrain is a source of national pride but a short drive from the spectacle of race day is the overcrowded Jaw Prison. (AFP/Tom Gandolfini)

When the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) hosted Formula One for the first time in 2004, it was nearly a false start for the $150 million facility. Drivers told the BBC they feared desert sand would damage their racecars. So track employees began a perpetual fight against nature, even spraying glue over the surrounding desert in the hope of keeping it at bay.

Blog   |   Syria

How many more? CPJ remembers journalists killed covering Syria

A vigil for Syrian prisoners is held in Aleppo in January. On March 15 a series of events will mark journalists killed or imprisoned while covering the uprising. (Reuters/Amar Abdullah)

On March 15 the fourth anniversary of the start of the Syrian uprising will be marked. No one knew in the early days of unrest how events would escalate, let alone how the entire region and the journalists covering it would be so deeply impacted.

Blog   |   Syria

CPJ joins call for Syria to release three press freedom defenders from jail

Three years ago Syrian Air Force Intelligence agents raided the office of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression in Damascus, arresting all who were present. While some of those arrested were later released, Mazen Darwish, Hani al-Zitani, and Hussein Ghrer have been imprisoned ever since.

Blog   |   Syria

Family of journalist jailed in Syria await news, four years on

Moheeb Alnawaty, author of Hamas From The Inside, was taken into Syrian custody and has not been heard from since January 2011. (Alnawaty family handout)

When Ibtisam Alnawaty last spoke to her husband, Moheeb Alnawaty, in January 2011, there was nothing to suggest that he feared for his safety. The Palestinian-Norwegian writer had traveled to Syria in December 2010 to translate his book, Hamas From The Inside, and had even suggested the family should move there from Norway, his wife told CPJ. But on January 5, 2011, Moheeb Alnawaty's phone was turned off and he has not been in contact since.

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