Middle East & North Africa

CPJ Blog

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CPJ joins letter calling on Bahrain to release all journalists, citing COVID-19

April 6, 2020 1:25 PM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined other human rights and free expression organizations in a letter calling on the Bahraini government to release all imprisoned journalists and other political prisoners....

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Amid coronavirus pandemic, Iran covers up crucial information and threatens journalists

March 20, 2020 12:53 PM ET

In recent months, the stability of the Iranian government has been threatened by widespread protests in late 2019 and the shooting down of a Ukrainian civilian aircraft in January 2020 amid heightened tensions with the U.S. The latest threat is the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit Iran harder than...

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To cement internet control, Iran helps journalists get online

March 2, 2020 1:21 PM ET

In early 2020, a journalist in Iran received a form from Iran’s National E-commerce Union, a nominally independent group that is close to the government, requesting their name, the news website they work for, and their IP address. “With all due respect,” it read, “provide the following information to...

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Iran harasses, intimidates journalists ahead of parliamentary elections

February 20, 2020 5:18 PM ET

Elections are always problematic for journalists in Iran, as the government attempts to threaten the press into silence. The parliamentary elections on February 21 are no exception....

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Iranian journalist imprisoned, fired, and forced into exile over a single word

December 11, 2019 12:00 AM ET

In October 2018, authorities arrested Pouyan Khoshhal as he drove through the northern Iranian city of Rasht, by the Caspian Sea. The reason for the journalist’s arrest: his use of the word “death” instead of “martyrdom” to describe a Shiite saint in an article for the reformist newspaper Ebtekar....

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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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