Newsletter No 19 21 February 2006
Press Freedom:
Center Aims to Be Press Freedom Watchdog in Arab World

The Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) has announced plans to establish a center to monitor press freedom in Arab countries, according to the Al-Mashreq Al-Ilami news site, which is published by the Arab Media Institute in Jordan.

The center, to be based in Morocco, will focus on writing annual reports on press freedom situations in Arab countries starting with the 2006 report, as well as organizing activities related to freedom of expression and the press. The first such activity would be an international forum on the realities of press freedom in the Arab world, planned for May. The forum would mark the opening of the center’s headquarters, said Saif Al-Shareef, president of the FAJ’s freedom committee. Many international and Arab journalists will participate, he said.

FAJ President Ibrahim Nafie said the center would enjoy full independence while coordinating with journalism organizations across the Arab world.

The Moroccan Ministry of Information, Nabil Ben Abdallah, welcomed the decision of establishing the center in Morocco and assured the Moroccan government’s support to the initiative without interfering in its work.

Source:   - International Journalists Network