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ARCHIVES: Saudi Arabia

February 27, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Call for independent probe into journalist’s death in police raid

Reporters Without Borders has called for an investigation into the death of Hussein Ali Madan Al-Faraj , a photographer and cameraman known as the “Revolution’s Journalist”, in the eastern governorate of Al-Qatif on February 20. Police killed Hussein Al-Faraj during a raid on the town of Al-Awamiyah with the aim of locating participants in a long series of anti-government protests in the region. Al-Faraj, who had covered all the protests and funerals of protesters killed by the security forces... MORE
February 19, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Authorities urged to free journalist sentenced to 12 years in jail

A 12-year jail sentence has been passed by a Riyadh court on Wadji Al-Ghazzawi , the owner of Al-Fajr TV and host of a programme called “Al-Fadfada” (Relaxed Conversation), for accusing Saudi Arabia of links with terrorism and Al-Qaeda in particular. In its February 4 sentence, the court also banned Ghazzawi from leaving the country for 20 years after completing his jail sentence and from ever appearing on television again. “This extremely harsh sentence shows how intolerant the authorities are... MORE
February 7, 2014

Saudi Arabia convicts TV presenter for critical show

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the 12-year jail term handed to a TV presenter in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. The journalist has 30 days to appeal. A court in the capital, Riyadh, convicted Wajdi al-Ghazzawi , host of Wajd TV satellite channel, of "harming the nation's image," according to the official Saudi Press Agency and regional human rights groups. The 12-year prison sentence included a five-year term under Article 6 of the country's cybercrime law, which criminalizes the... MORE
May 2, 2011

Saudia Arabia imposes stricter controls on media

The Saudi government issued a decree on April 29 imposing new restrictions on the media and drastically limiting press freedom. The decree, which amends five articles of the 2000 press and publications law, is clearly designed to ensure that the protests sweeping the Arab world since the start of the year do not take any greater hold in Saudi Arabia than they have already. The decree bans publication of any material that “contradicts Islamic Sharia law,” “serves foreign interests” or “... MORE
March 19, 2011

More harassment of journalists covering pro-democracy demonstrations, one killed in Yemen

Jamal Al-Sharaabi , a photographer working for the local daily Al-Masdar , was one of the fatal victims when government security forces opened fire Saturday on a peaceful demonstration in Change Square, outside Sana'a university, killing at least 30 people, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). Aged 35 and the father of four children, Sharaabi is the fourth journalist to be killed in the course of the wave of protests that have been rocking the Arab world... MORE
March 17, 2011

Mob damages press in Bahrain; Saudis oust reporter

Armed assailants stormed the Manama printing facility of the Bahraini independent daily Al-Wasat early Tuesday morning, damaging the press and hindering production of the day's edition. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the attack, which came just as military contingents from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were enlisted to help contain political unrest in the kingdom. In Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, the government withdrew the accreditation of Ulf Laessing , a senior Reuters... MORE
March 8, 2011

Middle East: Overview of media freedom violations of past few days

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has collated an overview of the acts of violence against journalists and other media freedom violations that have taken place in the pasts few days in Northern Africa and the Middle East. The countries concerned are Libya, Algeria, three Gulf states (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar), Yemen, Iraq (including Iraqi Kurdistan) and Syria. LIBYA Jean-Marie Lemaire , a French journalist working for the 24-hour TV news station France 24,... MORE
January 7, 2011

Saudi Arabia announces new Web publishing law

Online newspapers and blogs based in Saudi Arabia will now need to register with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information to operate. The new guidelines and rules will be added to the current publishing and printing law. Abdul Aziz Khaja, Minister of Information and Culture, stressed that the list is a tool of regulation – rather than restricting freedom of speech. He said it is in line with the development moves that the media sector is witnessing in Saudi Arabia. He added that the rule... MORE
December 13, 2010

After running leaked cables, websites face harassment in Middle East

The Lebanese news website Al-Akhbar is being harassed after it published US diplomatic cables that were first disclosed by WikiLeaks. The website was hacked last week by unknown attackers, while the Tunisian government blocked domestic access to the site. Saudi officials blocked access to the independent website Elaph, which also published some of the cables. "We condemn efforts to restrict news coverage of the diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks," said Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ... MORE
December 10, 2010

Saudi journalist held for critical article on royal family

New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Saudi authorities to immediately release Mohamed al-Abdulkarim, an Islamic law professor, human rights activist, and the editor-in-chief of an online magazine. He was arrested on Sunday, two weeks after an article he wrote was published online. Al-Abdulkarim wrote critically about the Saudi Arabian royal family and explored succession scenarios and a related power struggle within the royal palace. The... MORE