Syria / Middle East & North Africa

Journalists attacked in Syria since 1992

  
Protestors holding signs

At-risk journalists who must flee home countries often find few quick and safe options

In 2018, journalist Mohammad Shubaat was in Daraa, Syria, caught between advancing forces aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the closed borders of Israel and Jordan. Despite the dire threat to Shubaat and many of his colleagues, it would take over a year of intense negotiations with some 20 countries by the Committee to…

Read More ›

Ten years after the Arab Spring, the region’s media faces grave threats. Here are the top press freedom trends

In early February 2011, Alaa Abdelfattah was in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, documenting and participating in the nascent pro-democracy uprising that would topple the government and transform the country and the region. Today, he is in prison on anti-state and false news charges, which his family believes are partly retaliatory for his work. Abdelfattah is one of…

Read More ›

Journalists in Syria tell CPJ of fear of humanitarian catastrophe if COVID-19 spreads

Syria hasn’t been greatly impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Syrian Health Ministry has counted 123 cases, and six deaths as of June 1, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The country has begun to relax restrictions it imposed in mid-March, including curfews and…

Read More ›

British photojournalist Paul Conroy, pictured on his way to a hospital in the U.K. in 2012, after surviving a bombing in Homs, Syria. The attack and Conroy's escape from Syria are featured in the documentary, Under the Wire. (The Sunday Times/Ray Wells)

‘We face a different danger,’ war photographer Paul Conroy says

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.

Read More ›

On International Women’s Day, CPJ highlights jailed female journalists

On International Women’s Day, CPJ has highlighted the cases of female journalists jailed around the world in retaliation for their work. At least 33 of the 251 journalists in jail at the time of CPJ’s prison census are women. At least one of those–Turkish reporter and artist Zehra Dogan–was released in February after serving a…

Read More ›

A man walks through rubble in Damascus in October 2018, caused by years of war. Safety remains a key concern for Syrian journalists. (AP/Hassan Ammar)

Damascus journalist has a million stories but none she can safely report

Joudy Boulos has a million stories she wants to write. But as a Syrian freelance journalist living in Damascus, her ability to report is severely limited by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It is so dangerous that “Joudy Boulos” is a pseudonym the journalist sometimes uses when reporting and to protect her safety.…

Read More ›

Marc and Debra Tice, the parents of Austin Tice, who went missing in Syria in 2012, hold up photos of him during a press conference at the Press Club in Beirut, Lebanon, on July 20, 2017. (AP/Bilal Hussein)

A small thing you can do to help #FreeAustinTice

In August 2012, freelance journalist Austin Tice disappeared while reporting in Syria. A brief video made public a few weeks later showed Tice as a captive. He has not been heard from since.

Read More ›

Members of the Popular Mobilisation Units pose with the Iraqi flag in Tal Afar. Authorities in Iraq and Syria who relied on militias to help fight Islamic State must now decide what to do with the groups. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

Islamic State recedes but threats to journalists in Iraq and Syria remain

After three years of fighting in Iraq and Syria, the militant group Islamic State has been forced out of large swathes of territory. But local journalists and press freedom groups with whom CPJ spoke said that the defeat of Islamic State doesn’t necessarily mean that journalists will be any safer.

Read More ›

A worker cleans a EU flag in Berlin on May 19, 2017. The EU parliament is due to vote on October 12 on a proposed review mechanism of surveillance tool exports. (AFP/John MacDougall)

Press at risk as EU-based companies export surveillance software to hostile regimes

In August, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen told the daily newspaper Information that the government had authorized sales of online surveillance software to several Middle Eastern countries. While acknowledging the potential for human rights violations that could result from the use of these tools, the minister said that Denmark has an interest in the fight…

Read More ›

How CPJ researches the killing and jailing of journalists

Who is a journalist? In the era of citizen journalism, activist journalism and now “fake” journalism, the question is not academic. The Committee to Protect Journalists has just published its annual census of journalists in prison and next week it will release its survey of killed journalists.

Read More ›