CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Mariwan Hama-Saeed

Mariwan Hama-Saeed served as CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa research consultant. He is a founder of Metro Center, a press freedom group in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Blog   |   Iran

Inside the defense of Roxana Saberi

Roxana Saberi was released on Monday after more than four months imprisonment at Tehran's Evin Prison. She had been convicted of spying for the U.S. in a closed-door, one-hour trial on April 18 in a notoriously harsh Iranian Revolutionary Court and given an eight-year jail sentence. On Sunday, a court of appeal in Tehran gave Saberi and her two lawyers a chance to present their appeal. CPJ spoke to Saleh Nikbakht, one of the lawyers, about the trial. 

May 13, 2009 11:58 AM ET


Blog   |   Tunisia

Tunisia's Radio Kalima shuttered; staffers harassed

Ever since Radio Kalima staffers launched their new station on January 26, Tunisian plainclothes police have done everything they can to suppress the newly launched satellite radio station: besieging the offices for several days, threatening a managing editor with a knife, and finally breaking into the building and confiscating the equipment.

February 12, 2009 5:26 PM ET


Blog   |   Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia

Defending al-Zaidi, but not journalists at home

The now infamous incident of Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi throwing his shoes at President George Bush became primetime news throughout the world. In the Middle East it has been shown on television almost endlessly. 

December 18, 2008 5:26 PM ET


Blog   |   Iraq

Freed in Iraq, an editor offers thanks

Shwan Dawdi, editor-in-chief of the Kirkuk-based newspaper Hawal, sent a letter thanking CPJ for its help in overturning his conviction and one-month prison term. "I would like to express ... my thanks and gratitude for your noble and courageous position to defend the freedom of the press and journalists," Dawdi wrote.

November 26, 2008 11:14 AM ET


Blog   |   Tunisia

Tunisia responds to critical CPJ report

We received a large package from the Tunisian Embassy in Washington on Friday. The package contained an official response to our September special report, "The Smiling Oppressor" and a hefty collection of Tunisian newspapers and individual articles that the government says demonstrates a "liberal and pluralistic media landscape" under President Zine El Abidine's 21-year rule. Our report was highly critical of the Tunisian government's repressive press policies. 

November 18, 2008 1:39 PM ET


Blog   |   Yemen

A freed Yemeni editor offers thanks

Yemeni editor Abdel Karim al-Khaiwani walked out of a Sana'a prison today after being granted a presidential pardon. The outspoken journalist was serving a six-year prison term on what were widely seen as retaliatory antistate charges. Al-Khaiwani, whose case was the focus of a CPJ advocacy campaign, offered his gratitude.

I thank the Committee to Protect Journalists. It had a vital role in standing with me during all stages of the case, and I feel that CPJ had a huge role in the achievement that we gained today.
September 25, 2008 2:15 PM ET



Bloggers support Morocco's Mohamed Erraji

Bloggers across the Web are showing their solidarity with Mohamed Erraji, a Moroccan blogger who was sentenced to two years in prison last week for "failing to show respect for the king."

A Moroccan court convicted Erraji, 29, a contributor to HesPress, a Moroccan daily news Web site, on Monday in a closed, 10-minute trial. On September 3, Erraji published an article on HesPress criticizing King Mohamed VI for rewarding people who praise him.‎ He was arrested the next day and convicted the day after that, without a defense lawyer. CPJ condemned the court's decision yesterday. Today, the court of appeal in Agadir granted Erraji bail until the appeal is heard. A member of his family told CPJ that he can't predict what will happen, but that the court "might increase or decrease the sentence, or might decide that Mohamed is innocent."

Bloggers have set up Help Erraji, Free Erraji, and Facebook group Free Moroccan Blogger Mohammed Erraji.

September 11, 2008 5:05 PM ET


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