Syria / 2011

CPJ Blog

When a bug fix can save a journalist's life

September 29, 2011 9:22 AM ET

One of the most exciting aspects of working on Internet technologies is how quickly the tools you build can spread to millions of users worldwide. It's a heady experience, one that has occurred time and again here in Silicon Valley. But there's also responsibility that attaches to that excitement. For...

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The 'new' Syrian media law is nothing new

September 7, 2011 12:46 PM ET

On August 28, President Bashar al-Assad approved a new media law that purportedly upholds freedom of expression and bans the arrest of journalists. Yet less than a week later, on Saturday, a Syrian journalist and contributor to the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat was arrested, CPJ reported. Just two days before...

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Smashing the hand that holds the pen

August 26, 2011 2:22 PM ET

Ali Ferzat likes to work through the night. His attackers knew that. Masked men grabbed Syria's most famous cartoonist as he set out for home from his office near Damascus' central Umayyad Square at around 5 a.m. on Thursday, and bundled him into a van. A few hours later,...

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Syria's Assad gives tacit OK to online attacks on press

June 24, 2011 2:20 PM ET

On Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave his third public address on the vast unrest that has roiled his nation. Reporters described him as nervous. He, the reporters, or perhaps both, may have been thinking about the significance of speech No. 3. Both Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali...

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Beyond the Amina hoax: Real cases in the Middle East

June 15, 2011 6:07 PM ET

A Gay Girl in Damascus was a personal blog, said to be written by a young woman named Amina Arraf, that appeared to give an everyday record of being a lesbian in modern-day Syria. Following the events of the Arab Spring, as the political situation in Syria grew less stable,...

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Syrian Facebook users develop strategies against online threats

May 24, 2011 8:36 PM ET

Jennifer Preston in the New York Times reports on some stories that we also have been hearing from Syrian Internet use. She documents incidents of passwords extracted by force, and the deliberate defacing of social networking pages by security forces, apparently in order to sabotage reports of unrest from that...

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Parvaz says Syria detained her for Al-Jazeera work

May 19, 2011 4:27 PM ET

Al-Jazeera has interviewed Dorothy Parvaz, the network journalist who was held for 19 days in Syria and Iran. Parvaz describes how the Syrian government told her at first that she was believed to be a U.S. spy, but later it became clear, she said, that she was being held because...

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Syrian Facebook: Low-tech threats and high-tech scrutiny

May 6, 2011 4:58 PM ET

Journalists and online news-gatherers have been struggling to collect and distribute high-quality information about recent events in Syria. Foreign journalists have been turned away at the border; local online reporters have been detained. The quality of Internet and mobile phone connectivity has been extremely variable, with reports of Net and...

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