Middle East & North Africa

Iranian journalist jailed, freed, jailed

Iranian authorities have jailed freelance journalist Issa Saharkhiz four times in the last seven years. He spent 2009-2013 in prison on charges of "insulting the Supreme Leader" and "propagandizing against the state." In November 2015 he was arrested again, on the same charges, then sentenced, jailed, and eventually released again, on April 26, 2017, in poor health. A court sentenced him to another year in prison on the following day.

Jailed journalist in poor health
#FreeThePress campaign

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

AP photographer shot covering West Bank protest

A screen shot of a video Ma'an News Agency published to YouTube shows AP photographer Majdi Mohammed after he was shot in the hand covering a protest in the West Bank, May 18, 2017.

New York, May 18, 2017--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Israeli authorities to apprehend and try the man who shot Associated Press photographer Majdi Mohammed in the hand and killed a Palestinian protester near the northern West Bank city of Nablus today.

May 18, 2017 7:40 PM ET


Alerts   |   Iraq

Iraqi authorities shutter TV channel's Ramadi bureau

A screenshot of a Dijlah TV report alleging local government officials in Iraq's Al-Anbar Province smuggled oil and fighters to the Islamic State group (YouTube).

Washington D.C., May 18, 2017--Authorities in Iraq's western Al-Anbar Province should rescind their order closing the Ramadi office of satellite news channel Dijlah TV, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The Council of Al-Anbar Province on May 16 ordered the bureau closed, days after the Jordan-based channel aired a report alleging local government officials were involved in smuggling fuel and fighters to the Islamic State group.

May 18, 2017 6:02 PM ET


Alerts   |   Syria

Kurdish security forces detain TV journalist in Syria

Kurdish security forces, or Asayish, feed prisoners in Derick Central Prison in Qamishli, northern Syria, November 16, 2016. (Reuters/Rodi Said)

New York, May 17, 2017--Kurdish security forces in northern Syria should immediately release Zagros TV journalist Barzan Hussein Liani, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Members of the Asayish, the security force for the de facto government of the Rojava region in northern Syria, on May 13 detained Liani as they patrolled the area outside the town of Rmeilan, near Syria's border with Turkey and northern Iraq, according to his employer.

May 17, 2017 4:06 PM ET


Case   |   Tunisia

Tunisian security forces interrogate news website cofounder

In this 2012 file photo, Nawaat cofounder Sami Ben Gharbia addresses a conference in Beirut, Lebanon. (Courtesy Sami Ben Gharbia)

Officers from the Tunisian National Guard's Central Investigation Brigade interrogated Sami Ben Gharbia, the cofounder of the independent news website Nawaat, for six hours on May 3, 2017, demanding that he reveal the sources of an April 24 article about a draft economic and financial reconciliation law, Ben Gharbia told the Committee to Protect Journalists. The officers also demanded that he supply the names, phone numbers, and national identification card numbers of all the journalists who worked on the article, he said.

Blog   |   Iran

Iran targets Telegram app as it seeks to control news ahead of May election

Supporters of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani wave flags during a campaign rally in Tehran on May 9. Iranian authorities have targeted messaging app Telegram ahead of the May 19 elections. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

Iran has a history of cracking down on the independent press ahead of elections, with authorities arresting journalists and forcing reformist outlets to shut down. As Iranians prepare to vote in presidential and city council elections on May 19, authorities have turned their attention to Telegram, arresting several channel administrators for the app.

Alerts   |   Bahrain

German reporter denied Bahrain visa to cover FIFA congress

Supporters of Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa hold signs reading "Supporting the clean man" and "FIFA will be safe with Salman" in Zurich, Switzerland, February 26, 2016. (AP/Michael Probst)

New York, May 10, 2017--Bahraini immigration authorities should grant freelance journalist Robert Kempe a visa and ensure that journalists are able to cover international events in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Kempe told CPJ that Bahrain denied him a visa to cover FIFA's 2017 Congress, which is being held in the capital Manama today and tomorrow, for the German broadcaster ARD.

May 10, 2017 6:17 PM ET


Statements   |   Egypt

In Egypt retrial, 2 journalists acquitted, 3 others' sentences reduced

New York, May 8, 2017--The Committee to Protect Journalists today welcomed the verdict by the Giza Criminal Court acquitting Egyptian journalists Hany Salah-el-Deen and Mosad Al-Barbary, and called on authorities to immediately free Abdullah al-Fakharany, Samhi Mustafa, and Mohamed al-Adly, whose sentences were reduced to five years from 25 years. The rulings came in a retrial of what has become known as the "Raba'a Operations Room" case, relating to coverage of the violent dispersal of a protest at Raba'a Al-Adawiya in Cairo on August 14, 2013, which left hundreds dead.

Blog   |   Bahrain

Bahrain denies accreditation to journalists

Bahraini newspapers feature front-page stories on the arrest of four American journalists, with one photo purportedly showing one of the journalists with hands raised while being arrested, in Manama, Bahrain, February 16, 2016. The journalists were quickly released. (AP/Hasan Jamali)

Bahrain has over the past year refused to grant accreditation to several of its own citizens who report for foreign and independent media, including those working for The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, France 24, and Monte Carlo Doualiya. It has on multiple occasions not granted media visas to foreign journalists seeking entry. One of the Bahraini journalists refused a routine accreditation renewal, Nazeeha Saeed, now faces prosecution for continuing to work.

In an April 27 letter sent to Rifaa Palace and the Bahraini Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Committee to Protect Journalists joined news agencies and press freedom organizations in calling on King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to allow journalists to operate freely in the country. CPJ received no response, and is now publishing the letter.

Case   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israeli police attack journalists covering protest

Israeli security forces knocked down reporters and trampled at least one journalist while dispersing a peaceful protest in Jerusalem on April 29, 2017, according to video, photographs, and journalists who were present.

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