Middle East & North Africa


Alerts   |   Libya

Australian journalist attacked by assailants in Benghazi

People gather near the courthouse in Benghazi on August 22. (Reuters)
New York, August 22, 2011--Tracey Shelton, a freelance Australian journalist, was brutally attacked in her hotel room in Benghazi, Libya, on August 11, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two armed men wearing military fatigues broke into Shelton's room at the Africa Hotel, tied her up, beat her, and attempted to kidnap her. The journalist escaped by jumping to a neighboring balcony.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israel extends Al-Jazeera journalist's detention

Samer Allawi's mother holds his photo. (AP)
New York, August 17, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by Israel's continued detention of Al-Jazeera journalist Samer Allawi, who has been held without charge for eight days.

"Israeli authorities must publicly explain and provide evidence as to why they continue to hold Samer Allawi," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "Being a journalist is not a crime."
August 17, 2011 3:40 PM ET


Letters   |   Iran

Iran must work toward improving press freedom

Dear Dr. Shaheed: Ahead of your report on human rights in Iran to the U.N. General Assembly in September, I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with an assessment of the country's state of press freedom as documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Authorities were detaining 34 journalists when CPJ conducted its annual worldwide census of imprisoned journalists on December 1, 2010, making Iran, along with China, the world's worst jailer of the press. In reviewing these cases and their developments, we have identified three distinct and worrying developments to which we would like to draw your attention.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Al-Jazeera journalist detained by Israel

New York, August 15, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Israel to clarify the legal basis for holding Al-Jazeera correspondent Samer Allawi, who has been in Israeli state custody since Tuesday.
August 15, 2011 6:14 PM ET


Alerts   |   Oman

Omani newspaper under threat of being shut down

New York, August 12, 2011--The Sultanate of Oman is threatening to shut down the independent newspaper Al-Zaman for publishing an article alleging corruption in the Ministry of Justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The article's author, prominent Omani journalist and filmmaker Youssef al-Haj, stands trial on Sunday and could face prison time if convicted.
August 12, 2011 4:49 PM ET


Alerts   |   Iran

Iran continues to target critical journalists

An emotional goodbye between Ahmad Zaid-Abadi and his wife as his furlough ends.
New York, August 10, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about a rise in the number of imprisoned journalists in Iran and the continuing deterioration of their health. In recent days, Iranian authorities increased a prominent journalist's prison term by two years and arrested a critical journalist who had just finished serving a prison sentence. Other journalists have suffered from declining health as a result of substandard conditions, extended periods in solitary confinement, and intentional abuse, according to news reports.

Statements   |   Libya

Journalist detained in Libya must be granted all rights

New York, August 10, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Libyan government to immediately extend all recognized legal rights to imprisoned American journalist Matthew VanDyke, who was identified as missing in Libya and is now confirmed to be in state custody, according to a recent news report.
August 10, 2011 3:26 PM ET


Alerts   |   Iran

Iran continues to target journalists

Matin-Pour (Permission by his family, ADAPP)

New York, August 3, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is dismayed by news reports in Iran indicating that furloughed journalists are being summoned back to prison while new journalists continue to be convicted on manufactured charges. Reports of journalists' deteriorating physical and mental health are equally disturbing. 

"That the legal rights of accused and imprisoned journalists in Iran are disregarded with regularity has been established beyond a doubt by scores of individual cases documented by CPJ and others," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "Multiple legal analyses have also outlined how the authorities are indifferent to the letter and the spirit of Iranian law in their vindictive pursuit of journalists who are viewed as political adversaries to be silenced or eliminated."

Statements   |   Iran

Iran adds a year to award-winning journalist's prison term

New York, July 26, 2011-- Recent news reports that Iranian authorities have added a year to the politicized five-year sentence currently being served by journalist Mohammad Davari is the latest example of vindictive government policies against critical journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Letters   |   Turkey

Journalists held without due process in Turkey

Dear Minister Ergin: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending the rights of journalists worldwide, is alarmed by the ongoing detention of journalists in Turkey. We are also concerned by the large number of criminal cases opened against reporters under the sweeping provisions of the Turkish Criminal Code and Anti-Terrorism Act.

July 25, 2011 3:44 PM ET



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