24 March 2007
Latest Press Freedom News From the Region

In Iraq, the editor-in-chief of the daily al-Safir, Hussein al Jaburi, died from his injuries in a hospital in Amman, Jordan on 16 March 2007 where he was taken for treatment after being ambushed outside his Baghdad home on 11 February 2007.

In Tunisia, the 15 March issue of the French weekly Courrier International was banned from distribution. It contained an article by Tunisian journalist Taoufik Ben Brik headlined "Hay El-Akrad, the other face of Tunis," about one of the capital's poorest neighbourhoods. The weekly's website has not been accessible from Tunisia since 22 March.

In Algeria, on 22 March 2007, an Algiers Appeals Court requested 12-month prison sentences and fines of 500,000 dinars (5,500 euros) for Ali Fodil, editor of the Arabic-language daily Ech-Chourouk, and Naïla Berrahal, journalist at the same paper, in a libel suit brought by the Embassy of Libya on behalf of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The court also called for the newspaper's licence to be suspended for a year. The suit concerns two articles published last August about President Gaddafi's alleged participation in negotiations with Tuareg tribal chiefs about the creation of an independent state. The case was referred to the Appeals Court after a court in an Algiers suburb sentenced the two journalists to six months in prison and a fine of 20,000 dinars (220 euros) on 31 October, and ordered the newspaper's closure for two months.