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22 Dec 2007 - 29 Jun 2013
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Project on Middle East Democracy
The POMED Wire Archives
Category: Journalism
Jordan: Royal Court Threatens Legal Action Over AFP Report
February 14th, 2011 by Alec
Jordan’s Royal Court denied reports from last week stating that 36 tribal leaders had openly accused Queen Rania of corruption.  The Court has claimed that the “tribal leaders” are not in fact the leaders of their respective tribes and that details in the original Agence France-Presse (AFP) report were entirely false.  AFP Amman bureau chief, Randa Habib, was explicitly criticized by the Court and accused of not accurately investigating her sources.  The Court also said it would pursue legal action against the agency and Ms. Habib unless she was removed from her post.  Jordanian officials have been vocal about their grievances against foreign news media’s portrayal of protests in the country as part of wider Arab unrest against autocratic regimes.
Posted in Jordan, Journalism​, Protests | Comment »
Syria: Teenage Blogger Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison
February 14th, 2011 by Alec
Syrian blogger, Tal al-Mallouhi​, a 19 year old female high school student, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison by a state security court on charges of spying for the U.S. Embassy in Egypt.  She was first detained in December 2009 and had been held since then without charge.  The UK - based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights released a statement (in Arabic)  acknowledging al-Mallouhi’s sentencing.  P.J. Crowley​, State Department spokesman, also released a statement​condemning the sentencing and “secret trial” of al-Mallouhi, called for her immediate release, and denied all charges that she is an American spy.
Posted in Human Rights, Journalism​, Syria, Technology​, Women | Comment »
POMED Notes: “The Role of Citizen Journalism and Social Media in the Middle East and North Africa”
February 10th, 2011 by Naureen
On Monday, the National Democratic Institute hosted a discussion about the role new and social media has played in the dissemination of information and in supporting offline mobilization across the region. Joelle Jackson​, senior program officer at NDI made opening remarks. Chris Spence​, chief technology officer at NDI moderated the event and introduced the panelists: Houeida Anouar, a Tunisian digital activist; Golnaz Esfandiari​, senior correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and editor of the Persian Letters blog; and Raed Jarrar, Iraqi-American blogger and political advocate based in Washington.
To read full notes continue below or click here for pdf.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Egypt, Event Notes, Freedom​, Iran, Iraq, Journalism​, Middle Eastern Media, Protests​, Reform, Tunisia | Comment »
Al Jazeera Reporter in Cairo Describes Detention By Military Police
February 7th, 2011 by Alec
Posted in Egypt, Human Rights, Journalism​, Protests | Comment »
Egypt Update: Security Forces Raid Muslim Brotherhood Site Headquarters
February 4th, 2011 by Naureen
On Friday, security forces raided the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s official news website ikhwanonline.com, and arrested 12 journalists inside. They also seized some equipment and documents, said Ahmed Subei managing editor of the site. The government has blamed the Brotherhood for the protests which began on January 25th despite the fact that they were not involved in the initial planning of the event.
Posted in Egypt, Freedom​, Journalism​, Protests | Comment »
POMED Notes: “From Tunisia to Egypt: Protests in the Arab World”
February 4th, 2011 by Naureen
On Monday, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted a discussion of the developments in Egypt and their implications of the Arab world, where protests began in Tunisia and have spread to Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, and Algeria. Marwan Muasher​, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment, moderated the event and introduced the other panelists: Amr Hamzawy​, Research Director and Senior Associate of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut who joined the panelists from Midan Tahrir in Cairo, Michele Dunne, Senior Associate in the Middle East Program at Carnegie Endowment, and Marina Ottaway​, Director of the Middle East Program at Carnegie Endowment.
To read full notes continue below or click here for pdf.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Democracy Promotion​, Egypt, Event Notes, Islam and Democracy​, Islamist movements​, Journalism​, Muslim Brotherhood​, Protests​, Reform, Tunisia | Comment »
Sudan: Journalists Arrested in Crackdown on Opposition Protests
February 3rd, 2011 by Alec
Egypt is not the only country that is witnessing a crackdown on media.  Reporters from opposition newspapers in Sudan were arrested late Wednesday night for covering a meeting of opposition activists.  Sudan has seen protests over the past week inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt.  They have been much smaller in number but widespread.  Activists have been arrested and beaten.  Twelve journalists in total are reportedly being held by Sudanese authorities.  One student protester has died since the protests began.
Posted in Human Rights, Journalism​, Protests​, Sudan | Comment »
Clinton Condemns Attacks on Journalists, Calls for Negotiations On Transition
February 3rd, 2011 by Naureen
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned attacks on journalists, protesters, and human rights activists stating, “It is in times of crisis that governments must demonstrate their adherence to universal values. There is a clear responsibility by the Egyptian government, including the army, to protect those threatened and hold accountable those responsible for these attacks.” She also echoed Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman’s call for free and fair presidential elections and urged “the government and a broad and credible representation of Egypt’s opposition, civil society and political factions to begin, immediately, serious negotiations on a peaceful and orderly transition.”
Posted in Civil Society, Egypt, Elections​, Freedom​, Human Rights, Journalism​, Protests​, Reform | Comment »
Egypt: Journalist Dragged Through The Streets of Cairo
February 3rd, 2011 by Alec
Graeme Wood, a contributing editor to the Atlantic, was accused by plain clothes armed Mubarak loyalists of being an Iranian spy and dragged through the streets of Cairo and detained at a government building where he was questioned.  Wood says that the regime’s public blaming of “foreign elements” has created the dangerous and violent situation on the ground for journalists in Egypt.
Posted in Egypt, Human Rights, Journalism​, Protests | Comment »
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour Interviews Mubarak
February 3rd, 2011 by Alec
In this clip from ABC News, Diane Sawyer asks Christiane Amanpour about her interview with Hosni Mubarak​.  Amanpour also has an interview scheduled with Omar Suleiman​.
Amanpour wrote a brief piece about her interview with Mubarak as well.  According to her, Mubarak denied that his government was responsible for the violence and said he was worried about it and did not want to see Egyptians fighting one another.  He also described U.S. President Barack Obama as a good man when asked if he felt betrayed by the U.S.. Mubarak also stated that he never intended for his son to become President or to run for another term himself.
Posted in Egypt, Journalism​, Protests | Comment »
Crowley Condemns Attacks on Demonstrators and Journalists
February 3rd, 2011 by Naureen
On Wednesday, State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley condemned attacks on demonstrators and journalists stating, “The attacks are not only dangerous to Egypt; they are a direct threat to the aspirations of the Egyptian people. The use of violence to intimidate the Egyptian people must stop. We strongly call for restraint.” He reiterated these sentiments on Twitter: “The perpetrators of today’s violence in Egypt must be held accountable and the government should tell its supporters to eschew violence.” On Thursday he also tweeted​, “There is a concerted campaign to intimidate international journalists in Cairo and interfere with their reporting. We condemn such actions.”
Posted in Egypt, Freedom​, Human Rights, Journalism​, Protests | Comment »
Update from Egypt: ABC News Reporter Threatened With Beheading
February 3rd, 2011 by Alec
Alarming news out of Egypt amidst the onslaught against journalists and reporters by pro-Mubarak loyalists:  ABC News is reporting that one of its journalists, Brian Hartman​, was threatened with beheading.
Posted in Egypt, Human Rights, Journalism​, Protests | Comment »
Video: Anderson Cooper and Crew Attacked by Mubarak Loyalists
February 3rd, 2011 by Alec
Posted in Egypt, Human Rights, Journalism​, Protests​, Uncategorized | Comment »
Update from Egypt: More Journalists and Human Rights Activists Arrested
February 3rd, 2011 by Alec
The Washington Post’s Bureau Chief, Leila Fadel, and a photographer, Linda Davidson​, have been arrested​, as was Sonja Verma and Patick Martin of the Globe, and Bert Sunstrom of Swedish TV. Others are missing, including 3 from Al-Jazeera.
Among those arrested at the Human Rights Center was the legendary human rights leader Ahmed Saif al Islam, a Human Rights Watch researcher, in addition to Mohsen Geshir and Mona Elmasri.
Update: Nicholas Kristoff is tweeting from Egypt that there are reports that police are raiding hotels in Cairo looking for journalists.
Update 2: Leila Fadel and Linda Davidson have been released according to The Washington Post.
Update 3: Lara Logan and her crew have been detained in Cairo.
Posted in Egypt, Human Rights, Journalism​, NGOs, Protests | Comment »
Egypt: Journalists Attacked During Clashes
February 2nd, 2011 by Alec
According to Reporters Without Borders, several journalists were attacked today by pro-Mubarak demonstrators in Cairo.  Attacks took place against reporters from the BBC, CNN, ABC News, Al-Jazeera, and Al-Arabiya.  Some of the reporters attacked include Anderson Cooper of CNN and Laura Sertrakian of ABC News.  The International Press Institute has condemned the violence against journalists and reports that the headquarters of Egyptian newspaper AlMasry AlYoum was also attacked today.  Journalists have also been reported missing, some of whom appear to have been dragged away by “unidentified individuals.” David Goodman​, of the New York Times, writes that these attacks, “appeared to represent the most coordinated and widespread effort to stop international reporters from doing their jobs.”  U.S. State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley expressed concern via Twitter about attacks on the press, stating that Egyptian civil society wants to implement freedom of the press in the country.
Posted in Egypt, Journalism​, Protests | Comment »
Reactions to Egyptian Crackdown on Al-Jazeera
January 31st, 2011 by Alec
U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley expressed ”concern” at the Egyptian government’s shutdown of Al-Jazeera and the arrest of six of its correspondents on Monday stating: “Egypt must be open and the reporters released” [the reporters have since been released​].  Officials from Human Rights Watch have denounced the Egyptian government for its actions and praised Al-Jazeera’s coverage as “invaluable.” Sarah Leah Whitson​, Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa director, said that the shutdown, “is a sign of just how desperate the government has become to cut Egyptians off from news, information and communication.”  Egyptian and Saudi media, and some local Egyptian officials, have insinuated or outright accused the network of trying to foment revolution and of having “Islamist vendettas.”
Posted in Egypt, Journalism​, Protests | Comment »
Egypt: Al-Jazeera Correspondents Reportedly Arrested
January 31st, 2011 by Alec
Al-Jazeera is reporting that 5 of its journalists in Cairo have been arrested amid reports that police are being redeployed throughout the city.  Over the weekend, Al-Jazeera’s broadcast license was revoked by the Egyptian government.  Reporters without Borders have confirmed the arrest of four French journalists and about a dozen Egyptian journalists as well.
Update: The Guardian confirms that six Al-Jazeera reporters were arrested and their cameras and broadcast equipment confiscated.
Update 2: Al-Jazeera has confirmed that its reporters have been released although the crew’s cameras and equipment remain in custody.
Posted in Egypt, Journalism​, Protests | 1 Comment »
Egypt: Thousands Protest in Egypt
January 25th, 2011 by Kyle
Protests in Egypt have escalated as thousands of Egyptians gathered in downtown Cairo’s main square, Midan Tahrir,  in “the largest anti-regime protest in recent memory.” Some protesters in downtown Cairo hurled rocks and climbed atop an armoured police truck; police have responded using tear gas and water cannons. Two protesters were killed in Suez, a city east of Cairo, along with one security officer who was killed in central Cairo. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged all sides to exercise restraint. International human rights groups ask security forces not to crack down on protesters and Human Rights First called on communication companies and Facebook to resist pressure from the government to interrupt their services. Marc Lynch argues that Egyptians are consciously emulating the Tunisian protests, but unlike Tunisia, important press coverage from Al-Jazeera is notably absent. Lynch states that Al Jazeera “played a vital, instrumental role in framing this popular narrative by its intense, innovative coverage of Tunisia and its explicit broadening of that experience to the region.”
Protesters in Tahrir Square Downtown Cairo
Posted in Democracy Promotion​, Egypt, Journalism​, Protests | Comment »
Iran: A History of “Underground Media”
December 16th, 2010 by Jason
In a three part series at Tehran Bureau, Dr. Afshin Marashi explores the complex relationship between the rulers of Iran and the press going back to the early 19th century. The establishment of newspapers by the expatriate communities in places like Baku and London helped spread discontent with the Qajar Dynasty (1794-1925), eventually leading to the Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911). In the early years of the Pahlavi Dynasty (1935-1979) the number of media outlets began to shrink as a result of the centralization enforced by Reza Shah Pahlavi. Under Reza’s son, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, newspapers again flourished until the overthrow of Mosaddegh in 1953 and the re-establishment of state controls. Prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran saw an explosion of “underground media,” perhaps best exemplified by spread of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini​’s sermons on tape. Since the Revolution, tensions between Conservatives and Reformists have maintained a vacillating balance between state controlled media and underground media. Most recently, blogs and YouTube videos have taken the place of tape cassettes and pamphlets. Marashi writes that “the current phase of state control of the Iranian media should be seen in the broader context of the country’s modern history. […] As in earlier stages of Iran’s history, today’s democratic opposition has made extensive use of the latest technologies to circulate news, opinions, and calls for reform.”
Posted in Civil Society, Freedom​, Iran, Journalism​, Technology | Comment »
Bahrain: Blogger Imprisoned for His “Free Pen”
December 16th, 2010 by Evan
The BBC recently released video of an interview with Jenan Al Oraibi, the wife of imprisoned Bahraini blogger Ali Abdulemam​. Al Oraibi bluntly refutes the terrorism charges against her husband: “Ali has a free pen. That is exactly his crime. He has a free pen. […] The 23 detainees are all victims. They are all good people who have good jobs in this society. They are all innocent.” Authorities have limited family visits and the Shi’ite activists report that they were abused while in pre-trial detention. Their next hearing is scheduled for December 23.
Posted in Bahrain​, Human Rights, Journalism | Comment »
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