Press Freedom Alerts: Latest Press Freedom News From the Region
In Syria, detained writer and journalist Michel Kilo was condemned by a criminal court in Damascus on 26 March 2007, for signing in May 2006 the "Beirut-Damascus, Damascus-Beirut" joint statement, a petition calling for improved Syrian-Lebanese relations. Kilo who risks three years in prison is charged with being "weakening national sentiment," "spreading false information" and inciting "religious and racial dissension."
In Iraq, 10 employees of the independent production company Wasan Media as well as one of their ex-colleagues have been held by the Interior Ministry for more than a month without any charge. On 25 February, Interior Ministry forces raided Wasan Media's offices in Baghdad and arrested the ten people who work as cameramen, broadcast engineers, guards, and drivers.
In Algeria, police broke up a training seminar for journalists in the city of Tizi-Ouzou on 27 March 2007 on the grounds that the organizers, the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation, did not have the adequate permission. A permission is needed for any public meeting for the past 15 years when the state emergency was declared in Algeria.