Middle East & North Africa


Letters   |   Iran

CPJ, coalition appeal to Ayatollah Khamenei

From the Committee to Protect Journalists, PEN, Index on Censorship, Reporters Sans Frontières, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and the International Publishers Association: Our organizations, dedicated to freedom of expression, are writing on the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution to urge you to free all writers, journalists, and editors currently in prison for carrying out their professions in Iran.

February 11, 2010 11:34 AM ET


Alerts   |   Iraq, USA

U.S military releases detained Reuters photographer in Iraq

(Reuters)New York, February 10, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is relieved that the U.S military has released Iraqi photographer and cameraman Ibrahim Jassam today after holding him without charge for 17 months in Iraq, but calls on the U.S. government to ensure that this release marks the end of its policy of open-ended detentions of journalists.

Jassam, left, a freelancer who worked for Reuters, was arrested on September 2, 2008, by U.S and Iraqi forces during a raid on his home in Mahmoodiya, south of Baghdad. Jassam was never charged with a crime, and no evidence against him was ever disclosed; U.S. forces made only vague assertions that he was a “threat.”

February 10, 2010 12:58 PM ET


Alerts   |   Mauritania

Mauritanian editor gets second prison term on same charge

New York, February 8, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged by a second prison sentence given to Hanevy Ould Dehah, editor of the online publication Taqadoumy, and calls on the Mauritanian judiciary to reverse the verdict on appeal. 

February 8, 2010 4:59 PM ET


Alerts   |   Yemen

In Yemen, disappeared journalist claims he was tortured

New York, February 5, 2010—Muhammad al-Maqaleh, editor of the opposition Yemeni Socialist Party’s news Web site Aleshteraki, who was detained in September has finally appeared in government custody. He is being held without charges, local news outlets reported, and alleges that he has been tortured.

February 5, 2010 2:26 PM ET


Alerts   |   Egypt

Egyptian journalist sentenced to prison for defamation

New York, February 4, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns an Egyptian criminal court’s decision on Tuesday to sentence a journalist to one year in prison and a fine of 60,000 Egyptian pounds (US$10,500) on criminal charges filed by another journalist who is also a member of parliament.

February 4, 2010 4:12 PM ET


Alerts   |   Iraq

New Iraq media rules reflect return to authoritarianism

New York, February 4, 2010An Iraqi government plan to impose restrictive rules on broadcast news media represents an alarming return to authoritarianism, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ denounced the rules and called on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his government to abandon their repressive plan.

February 4, 2010 4:06 PM ET


Alerts   |   Iran, Saudi Arabia

Saudi operator Arabsat takes Iran’s Al-Alam network off air

An Al-Alam journalist reports from Saudi Arabia in 2008. (AP)

New York, February 3, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists called for Saudi-run satellite operator Arabsat to return to air the Iranian-owned Arabic-language satellite channel Al-Alam, which stopped broadcasting January 27 without prior notice, according to international news reports.

In a statement published on its Web site, Al-Alam said that “Arabsat, in continuation of its censorship policies and as a move to confront the news networks which reflect the realities of the world, has today once again cut broadcasting of the Al-Alam network.” Al-Alam was previously taken off the air by both Arabsat and the Cairo-based satellite service provider Nilesat in November. Both cited a contractual breach without elaborating further. 

February 3, 2010 4:30 PM ET


Alerts   |   Iran

With 47 journalists in jail, Iran sets notorious records

Jailed reporter Shiva Nazar Ahari

New York, February 3, 2010Iranian authorities are now holding at least 47 journalists in prison, more than any single country has imprisoned since 1996, according to a new survey by the Committee to Protect Journalists. While many of the detainees were arrested in the aftermath of the disputed June presidential election, CPJ’s survey found that authorities are continuing to wage an aggressive campaign to round up independent and opposition journalists. At least 26 journalists have been jailed in the last two months alone, CPJ found.

Alerts   |   Tunisia

In Tunisia, critical journalist’s appeal rejected

Ben Brik in a 2008 photo. (CPJ/Joel Campagna) New York, February 1, 2010—A Tunisian appeals court on Saturday upheld a six-month prison sentence against journalist Taoufik Ben Brik, one of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali’s toughest critics, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists denounced the decision, the latest development in the politically motivated effort to silence Ben Brik.
February 1, 2010 3:24 PM ET


Alerts   |   Morocco

Morocco’s most critical publication faces closure

New York, January 29, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the latest development in Moroccan authorities’ efforts to silence the independent newsmagazine Le Journal Hebdomadaire. Liquidators took control of the country’s most critical publication this week after a Casablanca commercial appeals court declared on Monday that Le Journal Hebdomadaire’s former publishing group, Media Trust, and its current one, Trimedia, were bankrupt, lawyers told CPJ.

January 29, 2010 4:56 PM ET



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