Middle East & North Africa

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CPJ deepens database of attacks on the press

November 7, 2019 11:10 AM ET

He couldn’t have known it at the time, but when a Moroccan court sentenced editor Mohammed al-Herd on August 4, 2003, to three years in prison, he was emblematic of a new trend, one that would accelerate and continue to the present day....

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Q&A: Moroccan press freedom advocate and NSO Group spyware target Maati Monjib

October 29, 2019 1:45 AM ET

Pegasus, the cellphone spyware tool sold by the Israeli firm NSO Group, is one of the most powerful surveillance systems governments can buy, experts say. Researchers who study it have detected “45 countries where Pegasus operators may be conducting surveillance operations,” and detailed its capabilities: whoever tricks the target...

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Restrictive terms of Shawkan’s release from Egyptian jail highlighted to UN

October 25, 2019 1:14 PM ET

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....

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

September 9, 2019 11:19 AM ET

“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...

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CPJ joins letter urging MTN Group to end participation in internet shutdowns in Sudan

July 11, 2019 2:40 PM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists yesterday joined 22 other organizations in signing a joint letter to executives at South African telecommunications company MTN Group, calling on them to end their roles in Sudan's internet shutdowns....

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Moroccan independent journalists describe climate of pervasive surveillance, harassment

July 1, 2019 12:00 PM ET

In March 2015, Hicham Mansouri emailed an anti-malware company, suspicious of possible signs that someone was able to access his device remotely, without permission. He remembers exchanging a few messages with the software company, but the correspondence was interrupted after a few days, when around 10 police officers in...

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Upcoming elections could make or break Tunisia's fledgling free press

June 25, 2019 10:00 AM ET

Tunisia's progression to a freer society took center stage this month, as journalists, digital rights activists, and tech companies gathered in Tunis for RightsCon and the IFJ congress. Tunisia has secured greater press freedom than many of the Arab Spring countries, but local journalists told CPJ that with elections...

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'We face a different danger,' war photographer Paul Conroy says

May 22, 2019 3:47 PM ET

In a Q&A with CPJ, British war photographer Paul Conroy discusses his last assignment with Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin in Syria, in 2012, and the dangers for photojournalists, especially when covering conflict....

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Egypt tests new censorship law with handling of al-Mashhad website block

May 7, 2019 2:44 PM ET

Magdy Shandi, editor-in-chief of the Cairo-based independent newspaper al-Mashhad, planned to send 30 journalists to report from polling stations while votes were being cast in Egypt's constitutional referendum between April 20 and April 22. He ended up ordering them to stay away, he told CPJ in a telephone interview...

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In Egypt, 'freedom' ends daily at 6pm for Shawkan and Abdelfattah

April 2, 2019 4:27 PM ET

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...

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