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ARCHIVES: West Asia - North Africa

December 7, 2010

Emadoldin Baghi imprisoned in Iran

Emadoldin Baghi, journalist and emblematic figure in the defence of human rights in Iran, began serving a six-year prison sentence on Sunday. Before turning himself in at Evin prison he said in an interview: In fact neither I nor my lawyers know whether the sentences have been upheld, by what court and in front of which judge! All that happened is that I received a phone call telling me to give myself up at the prison! … All this bears no relation to law and justice”. According to information... MORE
September 17, 2010

Iraq: Commission of enquiry says journalist’s murder unrelated to his work

Sardasht Osman, a young journalist who was abducted on May 4 in Erbil and was found dead two days later in Mosul, was killed for refusing to cooperate with Ansar Al-Islam, a radical Islamic group linked to Al-Qaeda, not because of his work as a journalist, a Kurdistan government commission of enquiry has said. Appointed by the Kurdistan Regional Government's president, Massoud Barzani, the commission claimed that Osman had originally agreed to cooperate with Ansar Al-Islam and then refused. It... MORE
September 11, 2010

Iranian lawyer who defends detained journalists is herself arrested

Iranian free speech defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer who has represented many imprisoned journalists, has now herself been arrested. She was arrested on September 5 on charges of anti-government propaganda and conspiring against the regime after responding to a summons from a revolutionary court prosecutor's office located inside Tehran's Evin prison. “Nasrin Sotoudeh has for the past year been the spokesperson of the victims of injustice, of those the regime is trying to silence,” Paris-... MORE
September 11, 2010

Second TV anchor killed this week in Iraq

Safa al-Din Abdel Hamid, an Al-Mosuliya television presenter who was shot Wednesday morning in front of his Mosul home by gunmen firing from a speeding car, according to New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Abdel Hamid was the second Iraqi television anchor to be killed in as many days. Riad al-Saray, an anchor for Al-Iraqiya was gunned down in Baghdad on Tuesday. "We extend our deep condolences to the family of Safa al-Din Abdel Hamid," said Mohamed Abdel... MORE
September 7, 2010

Egypt journalist faces trial over minister 'insult'

A prominent opposition journalist is to go on trial for allegedly libelling Egypt's foreign minister in a newspaper, a judicial source said on Sunday. Hamdi Qandeel could face prison or a fine if found guilty of the charge of "insulting and libelling a public servant or citizen performing their work," the source said. Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit filed a complaint against Qandeel alleging that he insulted him in a piece he wrote in the independent daily Shorouk , Agence France-Presse (AFP... MORE
September 6, 2010

Two journalists held incommunicado in Yemen for more than two weeks

More than two weeks have gone by without any news of reporter Abdul Ilah Haydar Shae and cartoonist Kamal Sharaf since their arrests in Sanaa on August 16 and 17, which have been followed by an increase in cases of violence against journalists. An Al-Qaeda specialist who works for the Saba new agency, Shae was arrested at his home at the end of the daily Ramadan fast on the evening of August 16. Heavily-armed police in bullet-proof vests surrounded the house, fired warning shots and then... MORE
September 2, 2010

IFJ accuses Yemen of broken promises as journalists are held without charge

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has demanded the immediate release of two Yemeni journalists who have been held without charge since August 16 and accused the Yemeni government of broken promises for backtracking on pledges to allow journalists in the country to work freely. Abdelelaah Shaie, a reporter working for the official Yemeni News Agency (SABA), and Kmal Sharaf, a cartoonist at a state owned newspaper al-Gomhoriah were both arrested at their homes and taken into... MORE
September 1, 2010

Iran newspaper calls Carla Bruni-Sarkozy a 'prostitute', wants her death

A hardline Iranian newspaper has called the French first lady a "prostitute" and recommended she be put to death for supporting a woman sentenced to death by stoning in Iran for adultery. Under the headline "French prostitutes enter the human rights uproar," the Kayhan daily newspaper referred Saturday to Carla Bruni-Sarkozy as a "prostitute" after she released an open letter in support of Sakineh Ashtiani, 43, a mother of two whose case has drawn international attention, CNN reported. Kayhan... MORE
September 1, 2010

Bahrain authorities gag press as govt cracks down on opposition

Bahrainian prosecutors have banned journalists from reporting on the detentions of dozens of opposition activists. Authorities detained Shiite opposition activists in a series of arrests that began on August 13, according to Bloomberg and other news reports. The New York Times reported Thursday that as many as 159 people had been detained, and that later detainees included people not known as activists. In an order announced on Friday, Public Prosecutor Ali Al-Buainain barred all news outlets... MORE
September 1, 2010

Dozens of journalists reportedly held on way to peace conference in Yemen

Twenty-five journalists were held by the Yemeni army as they tried to attend a peace conference in the north of Yemen over the last weekend. According to the Yemen Post , the journalists, from local, national and foreign press had been invited by tribal elders in the region to cover and attend the National Peace Conference. Since 2004, permits have been required for travel to the northern region of Saada and neighbouring Amran for security reasons because of the ongoing conflicts between the... MORE