World Association of News Publishers

Press Freedom: A week in review.

Press Freedom: A week in review.

Article ID:


The Arab World "celebrated" World Press Freedom Day by cracking down on journalists in Egypt, killing a citizen journalist in Syria, passing a repressive law in Libya, fining a TV station owner in Tunisia and detaining a Human Rights activist in Bahrain.

Libya, 2nd May

Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) passed a new law, described as "draconian" by Human Rights Watch. The law bans insults against the people of Libya or its institutions and prohibits criticism of the country's 2011 revolution and glorification of the deposed former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The new ‘Law 37’ has been criticised for threatening freedom of opinion and speech. 

For more information, check out this and this

Tunisia, 3rd May

Nabil Karoui, owner of NessmaTV, was fined 2,400 Tunisian Dinars after being accused of “blasphemy” and “disturbing public order" for airing French-Iranian film ‘Persepolis’ last October. Hedi Boughnim, programming director at Nessma TV, and Nedia Jamal, president of the women’s organisation that dubbed the movie into the Tunisian dialect of Arabic, were both also fined 1,200 TD each by The Court of First Instance in Tunis. 

For more information, check out this and this

Egypt, 4th May

A number of journalists and media personnel have been assaulted, injured, or arrested while reporting on the deadly clashes that took place in front of the Ministry of Defense in the Abbasiya district of Cairo. The journalists were reportedly either physically attacked by unidentified thugs or tortured in military police custody.

For more information, check out this and this.

Syria, 4th May

19-year old citizen journalist Abdul Ghani Kaakeh died after being hit in the neck by a bullet while he was filming a protest in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Kaakeh is thought to have been deliberately targeted by the Syrian security forces, who had reportedly ordered him to stop filming moments before he was shot. The citizen journalist had been arrested sereval times for filming opposition demonstrations and posting the videos on the Internet.

For more information, check out this

Bahrain, 5th May

Human rights defender and president of the Bahrain Center for Human rights, Nabeel Rajab, was arrested upon his arrival at Bahrain airport. Rajab was charged with "offending an official institution", namely the Ministry of Interior, and "inciting illegal gatherings".

For more information, check out this and this.


Farah Wael's picture

Farah Wael


2012-05-23 18:05

Author information