Category : Middle East and North Africa

Iran: website editor arrested

Hassan Nobakhtian, the editor of conservative website Nosaki, was arrested on 25 February, despite having had no complaints brought against him.

Britain: cabinet minutes to be released

The Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, has ruled that minutes of cabinet meetings in the days leading up to the Iraq war should be released.

Jail for comedian who dared to mock president

A Tunisian comic may have paid a high price for making fun of the country’s leader, writes Rohan Jayasekera Index on Censorship is calling for the release of Tunisian comedian Hédi Ouled Baballah, who has been jailed on the basis of suspect evidence, apparently in punishment for mimicking the country’s president. The trigger seems to […]

Dodgy and dodgier

The release of a draft of the British government’s dossier on Iraqi weapons confirms suspicions but also raises more questions, writes Chris Ames Monday’s release of the John Williams draft of the Iraq “weapons of mass destruction” dossier shows why the government fought for so long to suppress it. It proves what I have always […]

Iraq dossier draft released

The 2002 draft of the British government’s dossier on Saddam Hussein’s weapons capabilities has been released by the Foreign Office. The government had initially tried to keep the document confidential, but the Information Commissioner ruled that it had to comply with the Freedom of Information Act request of campaigner Chris Ames. Read Chris Ames’s article […]

Iran: leading women’s magazine shut down

Iran’s Commission for Press Authorisation and Surveillance has suspended feminist monthly Zanan (Women) for “publishing information detrimental to society’s psychological tranquillity”. Hengameh Golestan reports Zanan has been published regularly over the last 19 years in Tehran. In the past, Zanan has always shown support to other magazines and newspapers which have been shut down. What […]

Websites blocked in Yemen

On 19 January, three domestic news and opinion websites were blocked to users in Yemen by the government-owned Internet provider. The sites joined a list of at least five others that have been censored without any official explanation.

Iraq: journalist detained

Rashid Majid Al-Sari, editor of biweekly newspaper Al Fatah, was arrested and his computer and personal files confiscated by US troops at his Baghdad home on 18 January. Al Fatah is affiliated to Sayyid Al Shuhada, a Shia party founded in 1991. It is still not known where Al-Sari is detained.

Victory for freedom of information campaigner

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has lost an appeal to prevent the release of a document that formed part of the government’s case for invading Iraq. The document was written by John Williams, then Head of News at the Foreign Office. It formed part of the drafting process of the dossier ‘Iraq’s Weapons of Mass […]

“We know where you live”

Iranian intelligence is using new interrogation tactics on journalists reports Maziar Bahari who received an invitation to tea at an upmarket hotel I’m not supposed to tell you this but I met Mr Mohammadi. In fact I met three Mr Mohammadis in four days. Mohammadi is the nickname of choice for the agents of Iran’s Ministry […]

Tunisia: twenty years of suffering

Tunisian dissident lawyer and writer Mohamed Abbou was arrested in March 2005 and jailed for three and a half years for his internet expose of torture in Tunisian prisons. This is his first major published commentary on the state of Tunisian human rights since his release on a presidential pardon in July 2007, written to […]

An open letter to the Iranian Ambassador

His Excellency Mr Rasoul Movahedian Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran 16 Prince’s Gate London SW7 1PT Fax: 020 7589 4440 19 June 2007 Your Excellency, ARTICLE 19, English PEN and Index on Censorship call for the immediate release of three US-Iranian citizens, charged by the Iranian authorities with ‘acting against national security by […]