Middle East & North Africa



Several tallies, one conclusion on Turkish press freedom

Press freedom in Turkey is under assault. Thousands of criminal cases have been filed against reporters, the Criminal Code and Anti-Terrorism Act are used routinely to silence critical news coverage, and Kurdish journalists face constant persecution.

Today CPJ released its annual prison census, which tracks cases of journalists jailed for their work globally. (The list counts those who were incarcerated at midnight on December 1, 2011, but does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year.) Since 1990, when we first began compiling this census, Turkey has appeared regularly on the list; in the mid-1990s, it was the world's leading jailer of journalists. Some Turkish journalists have written us to inquire why CPJ's 2011 census lists eight imprisoned journalists in Turkey, while other organizations list as many as 64.

December 8, 2011 4:13 PM ET


Alerts   |   Iraq

In Iraqi Kurdistan, riots lead to press freedom abuses

New York, December 6, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the targeting of media by supporters of various political factions in Kurdistan. Journalists have been attacked and arrested in Iraqi Kurdistan and six media offices have been attacked in the past four days, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Syria

Syria detains blogger, press freedom advocate

Syrian journalist Razan Ghazzawi speaks at a youth conference on journalism earlier this year. The blogger was detained by police late Sunday. (Reuters)

New York, December 5, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detention of journalist and press freedom campaigner Razan Ghazzawi and calls on Syrian authorities to immediately release her. CPJ also urges the government to end the routine harassment and detention of journalists and to make public the names of all detained journalists and any crimes they may be charged with.

December 5, 2011 12:43 PM ET


Statements   |   Egypt

Egypt detains journalist, assaults another

New York, November 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Egyptian authorities to release U.S.-Egyptian documentary filmmaker Jehan Nujaim detained in Cairo on Wednesday, and investigate the arrest and beating of columnist Mona Eltahawy.
November 24, 2011 2:11 PM ET


Blog   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, CPJ, Mexico, Pakistan

Awardees to their colleagues: Buck the system

CPJ's annual International Press Freedom Awards dinner took place at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. (Michael Nagle/Getty Images for CPJ)

The Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria might seem like an odd venue to stage a call for resistance. Nine hundred people in tuxedos and gowns. Champagne and cocktails. Bill Cunningham snapping photos. This combination is generally more likely to coax a boozy nostalgia than foment a revolution. But the journalists honored last night at CPJ's annual International Press Freedom Awards had a clear message to their colleagues: Fight the power.

Alerts   |   Iran

Iran unleashes another wave of arrests and repression

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, far left, director of the official Iranian News Agency, is among those recently charged. In this file photo, he attends a June presidential press conference. (Reuters/Caren Firouz)

New York, November 22, 2011--Iranian authorities have engaged in a series of attacks against the press in the past two weeks, including raiding a news office, banning an independent newspaper, and arresting at least five journalists.

Alerts   |   Egypt

At least 17 journalists assaulted during Egypt clashes

Protesters carry a man wounded during clashes with Egyptian riot police in Tahrir Square Monday, Nov. 21, 2011. (AP)

New York, November 21, 2011 - Clashes between security forces and protesters in Cairo and other Egyptian cities have led to at least 17 assaults on the press over the past couple of days, including a shooting, detentions, and a beating by unidentified security personnel while in custody. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the attacks and calls on authorities to bring them to an immediate end.

"Journalists must be allowed to carry out their work without threat of assault," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "Furthermore, prosecutors have an obligation to investigate claims of abuse by military and police against journalists."

November 21, 2011 4:32 PM ET


Alerts   |   Syria

Syrian cameraman killed; last seen being arrested

New York, November 21, 2011--A Syrian cameraman was found dead Sunday with his eyes gouged out in the town of al-Qasir, according to several news reports. Ferzat Jarban, who was last seen being arrested, is the first journalist to be killed in Syria since CPJ started documenting journalist fatalities in 1992.

November 21, 2011 2:11 PM ET


Blog   |   Angola, China, Internet, Iran, Nigeria, Russia

Defending the middle ground of online journalism

It's easy to use polarizing descriptions of online news-gathering. It's the domain of citizen journalists, blogging without pay and institutional support, or it's a sector filled with the digital works of "mainstream media" facing financial worries and struggling to offer employees the protection they once provided. But there is a growing middle ground: trained reporters and editors who work exclusively online on projects born independent of traditional media. They share many of the practices of an older generation of reporters, but their work draws from the decentralized and agile practices of the digital world. 

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