Syria / Middle East & North Africa

Journalists attacked in Syria since 1992

  

Syrian journalists fear for their lives despite the end of the siege of Daraa al-Balad

On September 9, the Syrian Army and its allies lifted their two-and-a half-month siege of the district of Daraa al-Balad in southern Syria under a Russian-brokered ceasefire with local rebels.  The deal is the latest chapter in the long saga of the district, a cradle of the 2011 revolution that was recaptured by Syrian Army…

Read More ›

‘Be patient and prevent despair’: An exiled Syrian journalist’s advice for fleeing Afghan reporters

Syrian journalist Okba Mohammad was 20 years old when he arrived in Spain after fleeing the Syrian civil war with CPJ’s help in May 2019. “I felt that everything around me was strange: the people, the country, religion, culture,” he told CPJ in a recent interview via messaging app. But he also felt a sense…

Read More ›

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 ›