Middle East

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From the Communiqué

11 August 2010

United Arab Emirates/Saudi Arabia

Regimes worldwide attempt to control information on BlackBerry devices

Governments worldwide are squeezing BlackBerry for access to citizen's emails. The decision by the United Arab Emirates to suspend BlackBerry services for email, instant messaging and browsing the web as of 11 October was only the beginning. Several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia and India, are also considering similar bans and demanding access to BlackBerry's encryption technology in an effort to control the flow of information, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Freedom House. UAE authorities say BlackBerry phones are a threat to national security if they can't be monitored.
11 August 2010


Journalist killed after years of relative calm on the Israel border

One Lebanese journalist was killed and another wounded in border clashes between the Lebanese Army and Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) last week, report Maharat Foundation, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and other IFEX members.
28 July 2010


Media outlet repeatedly attacked; suicide bomb kills four

The offices of the Arab satellite channel Al-Arabiya in Baghdad were destroyed by a suicide bomb this week. A suicide bomber blew up a vehicle in front of the Arab satellite channel Al-Arabiya in Baghdad on 26 July, report the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The blast killed four of the news channel's support staff and injured several others, leaving a massive crater.
21 July 2010


Newspapers trapped in political quagmire; sound bombs hurled at journalists

Three pro-Fatah Palestinian newspapers published in the West Bank have been barred from distribution in the Gaza Strip, and told not to criticise the Hamas government in order to be permitted into the country, report the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Index on Censorship. MADA has also condemned the use of tear gas and sound bombs by Israeli forces on Palestinian journalists covering protests last week.
30 June 2010


Journalist and human rights lawyer remain behind bars

Syrian authorities continue to ignore protests about the detention of critics of the regime under spurious charges. Despite finishing a 30-month sentence, a Syrian journalist and activist is being kept in jail in reprisal for an article smuggled out of prison which criticises the Iranian regime and Syria's relations with Iran, report Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF). As well, a human rights lawyer who has repeatedly called attention to the abysmal treatment and torture of political prisoners was sentenced on 23 June to three years in prison, report the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and Freedom House.
16 June 2010


Violence against critical voices continues one year after disputed elections

One year after the disputed 12 June elections in Iran, the regime continues to tighten its grip and methodically crush dissent. IFEX members are calling on the Iranian government to release all imprisoned journalists and writers and end its repression of press freedom and free expression in the country.

Campaigns and Advocacy

11 August 2010


Crisis of local television and radio stations discussed at MADA consultative meeting

MADA director Mousa Rimawi talked about the important role of local media in calling for reconciliation, tolerance and dialogue.
10 August 2010


Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji named 59th IPI Press Freedom Hero

Ganji's courage in face of intimidation is an "inspiration" to all, said IPI.
4 August 2010


Media suffering a decade into President al-Assad's rule, says CPJ

CPJ calls on the president to amend the country's repressive press law and ensure that no journalists are behind bars for doing their jobs.
16 July 2010


Many journalists and other prisoners of conscience still detained despite being seriously ill

A year after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection, more than 100 political prisoners are still being held in Iranian jails in inhuman and degrading conditions, RSF said.
8 July 2010


MADA holds workshop on "Freedom of Expression in International and Palestinian Legislation"

The workshop is part of a series that will be convened in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as part of a project on defending journalists' rights in Palestine.
28 June 2010


Al-Maliki questioned on missing Iraqi journalist

CPJ writes to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, calling on him to clarify the whereabouts of editor Saad al-Aossi and the reasons for his continued detention.


IRAQ: KDP paper publishes threat against Sulaymaniyah journalists 11 August 2010 IRAQ: Kurdistan Democratic Party targets paper that alleged oil smuggling 6 August 2010 PALESTINE: Political tension continues to take its toll on journalists in Gaza and West Bank 6 August 2010 PALESTINE: MADA condemns police beating of journalist 6 August 2010 IRAN: Evin Prison hunger strike highlights inhumane conditions 6 August 2010 JORDAN: Government blocks dozens of independent news websites 6 August 2010 PALESTINE: Committee formed to investigate actions against television and radio station; Alnajah press office director detained 6 August 2010 YEMEN: New threats to press freedom 5 August 2010 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: CPJ alarmed by UAE decision to suspend BlackBerry functionality 4 August 2010 ISRAEL/LEBANON: Lebanese journalist killed, another wounded during military confrontation in south Lebanon 3 August 2010 PALESTINE: CPJ condemns prison sentence handed to journalist in West Bank 3 August 2010 IRAN: IFJ calls on government to free jailed journalist after claims of mistreatment 30 July 2010 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Wave of arrests of BlackBerry Messenger users 29 July 2010 IRAN: Activist Mohammad Sadigh Kaboudvand may have suffered stroke; family claim he is not receiving adequate health care 29 July 2010 PALESTINE/ISRAEL: Reporters assaulted by Israeli settlers; two journalists summoned in Gaza 28 July 2010 KUWAIT: Kuwaiti PM starts legal proceedings against Egyptian editor 28 July 2010 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Telephone regulator issues threatening statement regarding use of BlackBerry smartphones 28 July 2010 BAHRAIN: Two activists summoned after assisting Al-Jazeera with TV programme 27 July 2010 PALESTINE/ISRAEL: Israeli forces detain four journalists, strike another with teargas canister 27 July 2010 ISRAEL: Legislature urged to reject proposed legislation that would punish human rights activists, stifle criticism 27 July 2010
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