The ONLY active voice for American Arab Journalists.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Reporters without Borders issues new report on risks facing Palestinian journalists

Palestinian journalists caught in the Gaza crossfire
Report of fact-finding visit
View article:

Reporters Without Borders today released the report of a visit it made to Gaza and Israel from 4 to 7 December to investigate the disturbing situation of journalists working in the Gaza Strip, to meet with the authorities and to propose ways of improving the security of the media.

Palestinian and foreign journalists working in the Palestinian territories are exposed to two different kinds of threats, one from the Israeli army, which has been responsible for many acts of violence against the press since 2000, and more recently from the various Palestinian factions that do not hesitate to target media that criticise them.

The Gaza Strip has become the scene of especially violent inter-Palestinian clashes this year. The tension between Hamas, the ruling Islamic party that won the elections at the start of the year, and Fatah, President Mahmoud Abbas’ party, has led to a political stalemate that has paralysed Palestinian institutions. The split within the government has inevitably had repercussions on the street, and journalists are no longer safe.

Representatives of all the Palestinian factions and the Israeli army profess a desire to respect press freedom and the work of journalists, but the statistics belie their claims. This year alone, the Israeli army attacked or threatened 16 journalists and wrecked the premises of three news media, while Palestinian militants caused damage to seven news media by setting them on fire or smashing equipment, and attacked at least four journalists. Six foreign journalists have also been kidnapped by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Reporters Without Borders believes that the safety of journalists will never be taken seriously until the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli army decide to apply the law by bringing those responsible for crimes against journalists to justice. Systematic investigations must be carried out, the findings must be published and those found guilty must be punished.

Reporters Without Borders also proposes the creation of a distinctive sign so that journalists can be more easily identified. The organisation is normally opposed to the use of signs that could mark journalists out as targets. Identifying oneself as a journalist in Iraq or Afghanistan significantly increases the risks to which one is exposed. But in some cases it could provide additional protection in the Palestinian Territories, where journalists face a regular and professional army.

Reporters Without Borders therefore proposes to rapidly bring together Palestinian and Israeli journalists, politicians from both camps and Israeli military officials to discuss this question and find a solution that would reduce the risks to which journalists working in the Palestinian territories are exposed.

It is also vital that all Palestinian factions should quickly agree on a joint statement calling for both local and foreign journalists to be respected. The opening-up of the state-owned media - the news agency WAFA and the radio and TV broadcaster PBC - to all Palestinians regardless of their political affiliation are also essential conditions for improving press freedom.

Lastly, the creation of a regulatory body would help control the excesses of media used as propaganda outlets by certain factions. Professionalising the media and giving them a universally-recognised status would also help to combat the stigmatisation of journalists, who are often branded as “traitors to the nation” as soon as they try to stand back and put some distance between themselves and the political parties.

Entitled “Palestinian journalists caught in the Gaza crossfire,” the report is available on the Reporters Without Borders website (

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

CPJ: Sudanese journalists convicted for column on government perks

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568 Web: E-Mail:
Contact: Joel Campagna e-mail: Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x104

Sudanese journalists convicted for column on government perks

New York, December 27, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the criminal convictions on Tuesday of two Sudanese journalists in connection with a column critical of government perks.

A criminal court in the capital, Khartoum, ordered Zuhayr al-Sarraj, former columnist for the private daily Al-Sahafa, to pay a fine of 5 million Sudanese pounds (US$2,500) or spend one year in jail, according to the newspaper’s former editor, Noureddin Madani. Madani was also convicted in the case and ordered to pay a fine of 2 million Sudanese pounds (US$950) or spend six months in prison.

The two journalists were charged two years ago in connection with an al-Sarraj column criticizing perks that parliament and President Omar Bashir had approved for high-level government officials. The journalists were charged under the Sudanese criminal code and press law with slander and inaccurate editing, according to Sudanese journalists.

“It’s alarming that the Sudanese government treats journalists as criminals for scrutinizing official actions,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “This spurious case speaks volumes about the government’s stance on press freedom.”

The Sudanese Council of Ministers initiated the charges, claiming that al-Sarraj had exaggerated in the column, “Dividing the Spoils.” Madani told CPJ that the government had never contacted the journalists to point out any errors.

“This verdict is meant to silence journalists,” Madani told CPJ. “Why does the government take a journalist to court? Does the government need money? Two million [Sudanese] pounds does not benefit the government; it is about pressuring journalists.”

Madani, is now deputy editor-in-chief of the Arabic language daily Al-Sudani, and al-Sarraj is a columnist for that paper. Both plan to appeal Tuesday’s verdict, Madani told CPJ.

Al-Sarraj still faces trial for a January 2006 column in Al-Sahafa, which criticized Bashir for failing to address the many problems facing the Sudanese people. He was arrested by Sudanese security forces and held for 60 hours at Kober jail in Khartoum on January 3 and later charged by the national security prosecutor with “insulting the president.” If convicted, al-Sarraj risks losing his license to practice journalism in Sudan.

Press freedom has been heavily curtailed in Sudan in recent months. On October 15, Abu Obeida Abdallah, a reporter for the pro-government daily Al-Rai al-Aam, was released after being held incommunicado without charge for more than two weeks by security forces. In September, several opposition and independent newspapers were seized or heavily censored, among them Rai al-Shaab, an opposition Arabic-language daily for the Popular National Congress party, and Al-Sudani.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

Friday, December 22, 2006

Morocco Magazine banned for publishing religious jokes

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA
Phone: (212) 465­1004
Fax: (212) 465­9568
Contact: Abi Wright
Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

MOROCCO: Magazine banned over religious jokes

New York, December 22, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the banning in Morocco of an independent magazine and the charges brought against its director and a reporter for publishing an article analyzing popular jokes about religion, sex, and politics.
Driss Ksikes, the publisher and director of the weekly magazine Nichane, and reporter Sanaa al-Aji, were charged with denigrating Islam under Article 41 of the Press and Publication Law 2002. The charges stem from a 10-page article examining how popular humor reflects issues in society.

“We tried to understand society through jokes,” Ksikes told CPJ. “What we did just reflects what is there in society.”

Ksikes and al-Aji face three to five years in prison and fines ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 dirhams (US$1,100 to 11,000) under the press law. Their trial has been set for January 8.

“We understand that Nichane may have offended people by publishing these jokes,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “But that cannot be a justification for banning a magazine and threatening its journalists with jail. We call on the Prime Minister to rescind the ban and on the legal authorities to halt the prosecution at once.”

Nichane was banned by Prime Minister Driss Jettou late on December 20. Authorities informed the publication of the order early the following morning. Its Web site has also been closed. Nabil Benabdellah, minister of communication, said at a press conference that Nichane would remain shuttered until the outcome of the trial, the state news agency Maghreb Arabe Presse reported.

The news agency quoted Benabdellah saying the article “harm[s] the fundamental values of the Moroccan society, all the more reason that these values constitute the basis of cohesion between the various components of the Moroccan people.”

The Arabic-language magazine is a sister publication of the independent French-language weekly TelQuel. Both magazines are owned by the TelQuel Group headed by Ahmed Reda Benchemsi.

Benchemsi told CPJ that staff at Nichane had received death threats via phone and e-mail since the government made the charges against the publication. He said that the religious jokes involved God, angels and prophets as characters, but did not make fun of them. He added that Nichane staff did not write any of the jokes.

The magazine apologized on public television for any offense caused. “We were not trying to offend any of our Muslim readers, and if anyone thought so then we strongly apologize, especially because we have a respectful relationship with our readers,” the magazine said in a statement.

In February, another weekly came under fire for offending religious beliefs. Le Journal Hebdomadaire accused the authorities of orchestrating protests against it for publishing a photograph of a French newspaper showing one of the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that triggered widespread anger in the Muslim world.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

Sunday, December 17, 2006

ICJ Book on Arab and American Journalists can fight media bias

Press ReleaseDecember 8, 2006
ICFJ Publishes Arabic Version of “Fighting Words”

Our practical handbook on how to fight stereotypes, loaded language, and other biases in media coverage now available free for journalists

Dawn Arteaga, ICFJ Communications Manager

(Washington, D.C.) – “Fighting Words: How Arab and American Journalists Can Break Through to Better Coverage,” published by the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C., is now available in Arabic. The manual, the offshoot of a no-holds-barred conference between American and Arab journalists, identifies sources of bias in media coverage and ways to prevent it.

Coauthored by an American, Lisa Schnellinger, a media consultant in the Middle East, and an Arab, Mohannad Khatib, general manager of Jordan’s ATV, Fighting Words examines misperceptions on both sides and suggests how journalists can avoid stereotypes and other pitfalls.

“With the U.S. engaged in wars in two Muslim nations, it’s more essential than ever that the Arab and American public get the depth and nuance they need from the news media to make good judgments—rather than flip the page or turn the channel,” said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan. “Superficial, biased and wildly provocative coverage, from both regions, only fans the flames.”

The manual, first published in English in September, was primarily sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. To order a copy in either language, contact, or visit


The International Center for Journalists , a non-profit, professional organization, promotes quality journalism worldwide in the belief that independent, vigorous media are crucial in improving the human condition.

In the past 22 years, ICFJ has worked directly with more than 20,000 journalists from more than 176 countries. Aiming to raise the standards of journalism everywhere, particularly in areas with little or no tradition of a free press, ICFJ offers hands-on training workshops, seminars, fellowships and international exchanges to reporters and media managers around the globe. For further information, visit

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Interview with publisher/editor of Chicago's Arab Horizon Arab Newspaper

Amani Ghouleh, the publisher and editor of al-Offok al-Arabi (The Arab Horizon) and her husband, Abder Ghouleh, English section editor of the newspaper, are the guests on the most recent edition of 30 Minutes broadcast live on the Internet and also every Friday evening in January on Comcast Cable TV Channel 19 (8:30 PM).

30 Minutes is hosted by journalist Ray Hanania, who is also managing editor of Arab American TV Online ( which offers a wide variety of online TV programs and programming featured exclusively on Comcast Cable TV in 140 Chicagoland suburban communities.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Arab Journalism Scholarship launched

AAIF Launches Scholarship for Arab American Journalism Students

The Arab American Institute Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the Al Muammar Scholarships for Journalism, the most generous scholarship program of its kind offered to Arab American students.

Beginning in 2006, up to four scholarship grants, valued at $5,000 each, will be awarded to eligible Arab American college students who are majoring in journalism, as well as college seniors who have been accepted to a graduate journalism school. Awardees will be selected by a panel of judges drawn from the print and broadcast media in the United States. The initial scholarships will be for the 2006-2007 academic year with funds paid directly to the schools designated by the awardees.

The Al Muammar Scholarships were established this year by AAIF supporter Mashael Moamar in honor of her parents, Zakia and late Abdulaziz Al Muammar, who have always been strong advocates of educating women. Also noteworthy, is that Ms. Moamar’s late grandfather, Ibrahim Al Muammar, was a journalist in Egypt.

The scholarships are consistent with the goals of the AAI Foundation which include aiding Arab American youth with leadership and service programs, including awards for public and community service and Washington, D.C. internships. Therefore, the Foundation is proud to administer the Al Muammar Scholarships and thanks Mashael Moamar for her generosity.

“We are honored to have this opportunity to help channel financial aid to deserving Arab American journalism students,” AAIF Executive Director Helen Samhan said. “Our young generation has so much talent, energy and cultural perspective to offer,” Samhan continued, “that the country at large will benefit from more Arab Americans entering careers in journalism and public affairs. Mashael Moamar’s generosity could not have come at a better time.”

To be eligible, applicants of Arab descent must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university in the United States. They must have a current grade point average of 3.3 or higher, and a demonstrated commitment to the field of print or broadcast journalism. An applicant’s sensitivity to Arab American issues and record of social advocacy and community involvement will also be important considerations. Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, February 15, 2006. Awardees will be announced in May 2006.

Visit our student’s page for additional information and applications or contact AAI Program Coordinator Sabeen Altaf at (202) 429-9210. To learn more about the programs of the AAI Foundation, visit AAIF’s homepage.

Chicago Headline Club/SPJ Journalism Awards announced

Greetings from the Chicago Headline Club chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

We are now accepting nominations for our 30th annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, the Chicago area's premier local journalism honors.

You should soon receive a nomination packet in the mail. You may also download an entry form that can be saved, filled in and printed from a computer by visiting

This year, in-depth reporting prizes for daily newspapers will be issued in pairs, for circulation more and less than 300,000. Review the contest rules and categories, along with lists of past winners at

The deadline for entries is January 19, 2007. Chicago Headline Club members may submit their own work for half-price. Questions can be directed to Pat Kosar, (630) 681-9212 or

Nominations are also open for our Ethics in Journalism Award. We encourage you to let us know if you've seen a reporter, editor or news organization performing in an ethical manner: taking personal risks by taking a stand or refusing to follow the pack. Download the nomination form at

and return it to us care of our partners, Business & Professional People for the Public Interest, by February 10, 2007.Winners of the Lisagor Award and Ethics in Journalism Award will be honored at an April 27th banquet, along with the receipient of our second annual Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting.

This honor, which comes with a $3,500 cash prize funded by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, replaces our traditional "public service" Lisagor award.

More details are coming soon.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Baghdad Radio editor murdered

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568 Web: E-Mail: Contact: Abi Wright e-mail: Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105 IRAQ: Radio station editor killed in Baghdad

New York, December 4, 2006—Unidentified gunmen killed Nabil Ibrahim al-Dulaimi, 36, a news editor for the privately-owned station Radio Dijla, shortly after he left his home in Baghdad’s al-Washash neighborhood for work today, sources at the station told the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“We offer our condolences to the family of Nabil Ibrahim al-Dulaimi,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “He was a member of what has become one of the deadliest professions in Iraq. Iraqi journalists and media staff are constantly being targeted with impunity,” he said.

Murder accounts for 69 percent of work-related deaths among journalists and media support workers in Iraq, with crossfire accounting for the rest. In all, 89 journalists, including al-Dulaimi, and 37 media support workers have been killed for their work since the the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, making it the deadliest conflict in CPJ’s 25-year history.

Radio Dijla has been targeted previously. On September 13, unidentified gunmen kidnapped Muhammad Abdul Rahman, 55, a former broadcaster for the station. He is still missing and the identity of the kidnappers is not known, according to CPJ sources.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

CPJ: Yemeni Reporter jailed in Cartoon flap

YEMEN: Editor jailed for one year over Prophet cartoons
Committee to Protect Journalists

New York, November 28, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the one-year jail sentence handed down to a Yemeni editor for reprinting Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. A court in the capital Sana’a sentenced Kamal al-Aalafi, editor-in-chief of the Arabic-language weekly Al-Rai Al-Aam, on November 26. It also banned him from practicing journalism for six months after he leaves prison, and it suspended his newspaper for six months.

Three other Yemeni journalists are on trial for reprinting the cartoons in February.

Al-Aalafi was taken to prison after the hearing but released eight hours later on bail pending

“We are deeply troubled by this harsh sentence,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said.

“Journalists should never be imprisoned for what they publish. While we recognize these cartoons may have caused offense, there can be no justification for jailing a journalist because of what he published. We trust that the court of appeals with dismiss this conviction of Kamal al-Aalafi.”

According to CPJ research and local news reports, al-Aalafi published the cartoons to accompany articles saying how offensive the caricatures were to Muslims.

The cartoon controversy began in September 2005 when the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published 12 caricatures of Muhammad, one of them depicting the Prophet wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a lit fuse. The publication caused anger in the Muslim world, where many consider depictions of Muhammad to be blasphemous. The cartoons gained increased attention after they were reprinted in the January 10 edition of Magazinet, a small Christian evangelical weekly based in Norway.

Yemeni authorities filed criminal charges against three other journalists in February for republishing the drawings: Abdulkarim Sabra, managing editor and publisher of Al-Hurriya Ahliya; Yehiya al-Abed, a journalist for Al-Hurriya Ahliya; and Mohammed al-Asaadi, editor-in-chief of the English-language Yemen Observer. A Sana’a court is expected to issue its verdict in the Yemen Observer case on December 6 and a decision in the Al-Hurriya case is expected mid-December, according to local news reports.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

Committee to Protect Journalists330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568 Web: E-Mail: media@cpj.org Contact: Abi Wright e-mail: Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

CPJ Criticizes Yemen Daily

YEMEN: Official daily smears award-winning editor
Committee to Protect Journalists

New York, November 28, 2006—Yemen’s leading state-run newspaper Al-Thawra attacked independent editor Jamal Amer upon his return from the United States where he received the Committee to Protect Journalists 2006 International Press Freedom Award.

The daily ran a front-page article on November 26 suggesting that he was a U.S. agent and warning of possible legal action in response to his critical coverage of neighboring Saudi Arabia.

The article accused Amer and his independent weekly Al-Wasat of harming Yemen’s ties with Saudi Arabia and accused him of collaborating with U.S. intelligence. The attack appeared to be in response to Al-Wasat’s republication earlier this month of an article by former CIA case officer Robert Baer in Atlantic Monthly. Baer wrote that the ruling House of Saud was in danger of collapse.

The Al-Thawra article, titled “In whose interest the targeting of Yemeni-Saudi relations?” said that “The bad intention behind the publication of such an article and who is likely to benefit from it are no secret to anybody; particularly when we know that the editor of Al Wasat is currently visiting the USA and enjoying the care of …some Americans known for their closeness to the intelligence services.”

Al-Thawra accused Amer of working on behalf of unnamed individuals to undermine Saudi-Yemeni relations. The paper also appeared to threaten legal reprisals against Al-Wasat. “What you are doing is being denounced and disapproved by the Yemeni people because it stems from frivolous, extremist, and irresponsible behavior. This kind of behavior would lead you to be accountable before the law because you are breaking the law and hurting the interests of the nation,” the paper stated.

“We are concerned by this verbal assault in a state-run newspaper on our colleague Jamal Amer,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Given the political reality in Yemen publishing these unsubstantiated allegations and innuendo is tantamount to a threat.”

Established by Amer in 2004, Al-Wasat has aggressively reported on corruption, religious militancy, and other sensitive political issues in Yemen. In August 2005, Amer was seized by four men believed to be security agents and held for six hours. The assailants beat him, accused him of being paid by the U.S. and Kuwaiti governments, and warned him about defaming "officials." The men drove a blindfolded Amer to the top of a mountain, where they threatened to kill him. The attack followed an explosive Al-Wasat’s expose which fingered a number of government officials who had misused state scholarships to send their children to study abroad.

Amer has previously run afoul of Yemeni officials because of his criticism of Saudi Arabia. Before establishing Al-Wasat in 2004, Amer worked as a journalist for the opposition weekly Al-Wahdawi and was convicted of harming the public interest, offending King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, and damaging relations between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. A court once banned Amer from working as a journalist altogether.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

Committee to Protect Journalists330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568 Web: E-Mail: media@cpj.org Contact: Abi Wright e-mail: Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

TIKKUN Magazine seeks Managing Editor

Managing Editor Job at Tikkun

Job: Managing Editor at Tikkun MagazineThe Managing Editor is a major player in shaping Tikkun magazine and the Network of Spiritual Progressives/Tikkun Community, working closely with the editor in chief and C.E.O. of the magazine, Rabbi Michael Lerner.

Tikkun began as a “progressive alternative Commentary magazine and the voices of Jewish conservatism,” but it has evolved toward a culturally inclusive interfaith expression of spiritual politics, and we are seeking to strengthen that interfaith aspect. Our readers and our writers are not only Jewish. We are looking for someone whose interests include the Christian world and Christianity, as well as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and various other worldviews (e.g. Marxism, psychoanalysis, feminism, etc.).

We need someone who is extremely educated, motivated, interested in the study and practice of religions, progressive social theory, and culture, talented both as an editor and in working with others, and someone committed to the vision of Tikkun articulated in Rabbi Lerner’s book The Left Hand of God. You should also read the Core Vision at and Rabbi Lerner’s editorial about Tikkun in the current issue (Nov/Dec, 2006).

Prior experience in magazine publishing would be very useful, though we’ve also over the twenty years of existence found excellent editors who were formerly college professors, lawyers, writers, psychologists, and even once we hired someone very good who had only been a graduate student previously. Our ideal candidate should be well-versed in both the editorial and business management of an independent periodical, and can seamlessly multitask between these responsibilities. But someone absolutely brilliant, well versed in contemporary social theory/politics/religion/spirituality/and contemoporary intellectual debates and significant writers, someone talented, and with unlimited energy, charm and sense of humor and commitment to the vision of The Left Hand of God could do this work very well—even if that person had not previously done this specific kind of work—might be able to convince us that s/he was the best candidate.

The Managing Editor’s position requires a full energy commitment that includes activist work, specifically, building Tikkun as a major intellectual force and building the Network of Spiritual Progressives as a force for social change and healing. You will be required to represent and promote the magazine and to widen our impact in the intellectual, political, academic and religious worlds. A person seeking to become known as a public intellectual would be fine, as long as s/he is fully aware that this work involves also tedious line editing and outreach, work in developing each issue with a part-time designer, work in coordination with our printer and distributor, an ability to see the big picture and come up with innovative and smart ways to advance our ideas, the magazine, and our organization. Working with Tikkun is not just a job—it is a life commitment, a cause, a movement, a way of actualizing one’s highest values, so people who want a normal job or who have strong commitments outside of work that would make it hard to attend evening meetings, weekend conferences, or travel for the magazine should not bother to apply.This job is an amazing opportunity to serve God and advance the cause of building a world of love and kindness, generosity aand love, ecological sanity and ethical vision--and to develop your capacity for compassion (because none of us at Tikkun fully lives up to our own highest values, and all of us are flawed in various ways that are at once both exciting and heart-breakingly disappointing because wouldn't it be great if people were able to be as wonderful as their own ideals? So compassion is the key to surviving in this kind of work.)

The Managing Editor must live in the San Francisco Bay Area and appear each day at our office in Berkeley. The pay is good for the sphere of non-profit publishing (though you could make a lot more in the private sector), and includes benefits. Salary depends on years of relevant experience.

Please send a self-revealing letter talking about your own intellectual and spiritual development, your strengths and weaknesses, your professional experience and your educational background, why this job would be perfect for you and what about it might be difficult as well. Please also include a page about your own relationship to the ideas and approach of the Network of Spiritual Progressives ( ) including the Q&A about our organization, the Spiritual Covenant with America, and your reaction to the vision in The Left Hand of God.

Also send a normal curriculum vita and a list of people (and phone numbers/email addresses) to whom you invite us to turn for recommendations.

If you wish to send a dvd or video tape of yourself, do it by addressing the questions raised above, and also give five-ten minutes of a talk in which you are speaking to a room full of people who have never heard of Tikkun or the Network of Spiritual Progressives and your task is to convince them that there is something exciting here that they should check out, or even consider joining or subscribing. But this video or dvd is not necessary at this stage in the process, and in any event cannot be a substitute for writing a self-revealing letter, since we need to know how you write and see that aspect of your competence.

Applications To: or to Adina c/o Tikkun, 951 Cragmont Ave, Berkeley, Ca. 94708.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Broadcast job announcement Oakland, CA

Institute for Middle East Understanding
Broadcast Media Specialist Job Announcement

BackgroundThe Institute for Middle East Understanding ( is anindependent, Oakland, CA-based, non-profit organization formed to address asignificant gap in Americans' understanding of Palestine, the Palestiniansand related events. The IMEU works closely with journalists to supplyarticulate sources, reliable information and compelling experts.

The IMEU was formed by a team of business, communications and mediaprofessionals who are using the skills they honed in the corporate world tomake the IMEU as professional, efficient and effective as any for-profitcompany.IMEU Seeks Broadcast Media Specialist

The IMEU seeks a bright, articulate, and dedicated Broadcast MediaSpecialist to help the Institute become the most respected resource forjournalists covering Palestine, the Palestinians and related events. This position will work closely with IMEU's Communications and Development Director. Approximately 25 percent of this person's time will be devoted to fundraising support.The responsibilities of the Broadcast Media Specialist include:Broadcast Media Efforts:* Coordinate media requests* Proactively suggest stories* Monitor broadcast media coverage* Maintain an accurate media list* Assist in cultivating sources* Maintain IMEU media results portfolio* Assist with the development of media and communications plansFundraising Activities:* Assist in ongoing fundraising work, including newsletter productionand dissemination, mail appeals, events planning and organization, thank youletters and donor recognition* Coordinate the submission of foundation proposals* Maintain an error-free donor database* Assist with the development of fundraising plansRequired Qualifications* Bachelor's degree or above* Knowledge of Palestinian history, politics and culture* Excellent written and oral communication skills* Keen attention to detail* Ability to juggle multiple projects* Effective at both team and self-directed work* Proficient in Microsoft Office* Positive attitude and a sense of humor

How to Apply
Please send resume and writing sample to:
IMEU436 14th Street, #1312Oakland,
CA 94612
or by email to: info@imeu.

Friday, November 17, 2006

CPJ awards Media honors

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568 Web: E-Mail:
Web: Contact: Abi Wright E-mail: Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x105

Washington, November 17, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists introduced its 2006 International Press Freedom Award winners at a press conference at the National Press Club today. The journalists, from Colombia, Yemen, and the Gambia, will be honored along with a slain colleague from Iraq at an awards ceremony on Tuesday in New York. The event also marks CPJ’s 25th anniversary.
Jesús Abad Colorado of Colombia, Jamal Amer of Yemen, and Madi Ceesay of the Gambia have risked their lives to report the news, withstanding attacks, harassment, and imprisonment. CPJ will posthumously honor Atwar Bahjat, correspondent for Al-Arabiya satellite television and former reporter for Al-Jazeera, who was gunned down while covering a bombing near Samarra in February.
Ceesay, Amer, and Colorado spoke today about the difficulties they face in their home countries. The media in the tiny West African country of the Gambia have endured a spate of arson attacks, detentions, and intimidation, Ceesay said. “We have gone through what I would call hell,” he added.
Colorado, the first photographer to receive CPJ’s award, said “photography can be a way of speaking in a country where the word can be dangerous.” Even so, Colorado has been abducted twice by guerrillas.
“These reporters are an inspiration to all who practice journalism,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “In an era when foreign correspondents face terrible risks, local journalists like our award winners face an even higher level of danger. They are driven by a powerful and innate desire to know, to understand, and to tell. In that sense, they are serving not only their countries but all of us who care about the world.”
Jesús Abad Colorado, is a freelance photographer who has witnessed some of the most violent clashes in Colombia’s civil war, capturing powerful images of human rights abuses perpetrated by all sides in the conflict. As a provincial journalist, Colorado knows the adversity faced by colleagues in strife-ridden areas outside the capital, where journalists routinely face threats of reprisal from guerrillas, paramilitaries, and local authorities. Colorado, whose work is widely published in Colombia, has displayed great bravery and determination in reporting from the front line. He was kidnapped twice by leftist guerrillas; in one case, in October 2000, guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) abducted Colorado at a roadblock and held him for two days.
Colorado won acclaim for his work in the aftermath of a massacre in the town of San José de Apartadó in February 2005. His news account and photographs, published in the national daily El Tiempo, pointed to military involvement in the massacre and a pattern of close military-paramilitary cooperation in the region. Colorado says his photographs tell a story of despair and serve as witness to people’s resilience.
Jamal Amer is the courageous editor of one of Yemen’s most independent weeklies, Al-Wasat. His reporting on corruption, religious militancy, and sensitive political issues has triggered a number of frightening threats and attacks. In August 2005, he was seized by four men believed to be security agents and held for six hours. The assailants beat him, accused him of being paid by the U.S. and Kuwaiti governments, and warned him about defaming "officials." The men drove a blindfolded Amer to the top of a mountain, where they threatened to shoot him. His abduction shocked Yemeni journalists, who took it as an explicit warning against the sort of enterprising journalism that had been a mark of Al-Wasat. Just days before Amer’s kidnapping, the paper ran a daring story alleging that several government officials were exploiting state scholarships to send their own children to study abroad. This year, pro-government newspapers have accused Amer of being an agent of the West, and his family has been subjected to government surveillance.
Madi Ceesay is a veteran independent journalist from the Gambia who has suffered attacks and imprisonment for his work. He is also a leading press freedom activist, serving as president of the Gambia Press Union, which has headed efforts to fight impunity in attacks on the press, including the unsolved December 2004 murder of prominent newspaper editor Deyda Hydara.
In 2006, Ceesay took over as general manager of The Independent, a leading private paper that has suffered frequent official harassment and two unsolved arson attacks. In March, security forces sealed off The Independent’s offices and detained staff after the paper published critical articles about a purported coup attempt. Ceesay and Editor Musa Saidykhan were held for three weeks without charge by the National Intelligence Agency. Before joining The Independent, Ceesay worked for 10 years for the respected independent weekly Gambia News and Report, first as a reporter and then as its deputy editor.
Atwar Bahjat, correspondent for Al-Arabiya and one of the best known war reporters in the Arab world, was murdered in Iraq in February along with her freelance cameraman, Khaled Mahmoud al-Falahi, and engineer, Adnan Khairallah. Her bullet-riddled body was found near Samarra a day after the station lost contact with the crew. At the time of her death, Bahjat was on the outskirts of Samarra covering the bombing of the Shiite shrine Askariya, known as the Golden Mosque. A witness said her murderers drove up suddenly and sought out the television “presenter” to be killed.

Bahjat, a 30-year-old Iraqi, had just joined Al-Arabiya after working as a correspondent for Al-Jazeera since 2003. She had previously worked for Iraqi TV under Saddam Hussein. She was known as a dogged street reporter who knew well the hardships endured by Iraqi reporters. In the course of her work, Bahjat received several death threats and survived a roadside bomb that destroyed her car, none of which deterred her from reporting. “She always liked to be a reporter in the field,” recalled Al-Jazeera news anchor M’hamed Krichene who worked with her in Baghdad.
The awards will be presented at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York on Tuesday, November 21. Robert A. Iger, president and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company, and John S. Carroll, Knight visiting lecturer at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University, are co-chairmen of the black-tie event. CNN Chief International Correspondent and CPJ board member Christiane Amanpour will be the host.
For more information about the award winners, and for information about CPJ’s work or CPJ, visit our Web site at or call 212-465-1004 x105.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Background on al-Jazeera TV's Listening Post segment

Al Jazeera International launches its English language news program Nov. 15. A major component will be "Listening Post" which features video blogs from independent journalists around the world.

Here's some background on it and its director, former ABC TV reporter Richard Gizbert:

(Qatar: Tuesday, April 04 - 2006 at 10:32 ) Al Jazeera International unveils media strand and announces Richard Gizbert as presenter

Al Jazeera International, the 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel, today announced plans for their reporting world media review programme Listening Post and confirmed former ABC news journalist, Richard Gizbert as presenter.

Listening Post will bring viewers around the world a weekly insight into how the news is handled by the world's media. It will monitor and examine all forms of media, all over the world. From the biggest network to the most obscure web bloggers Listening Post will report critically on what they cover - and what they don't.

It will examine the big stories - and explain how and why coverage of them differs in different parts of the world. As with the channel's news reporting, Listening Post will look at all sides of the story from all parts of the world and assess how news reporting changes depending on where it is coming from. Gizbert joins Al Jazeera International's line-up of on-screen talent from ABC News where he worked since 1993. Starting as a correspondent in their London bureau Gizbert has reported abroad on many of the major international stories such as the conflicts in Iraq and the continuing unrest in the Middle East. Director of Programmes at Al Jazeera International, Paul Gibbs said, 'Listening Post is Al Jazeera International's eyes and ears on the world's electronic media. It's a fantastic addition to our line-up of extensive programmes.'

Speaking on the announcement Richard Gizbert said, 'I am thrilled to be part of Al Jazeera International and to be bringing Listening Post to the English speaking world. We will challenge the norm - Listening Post will analyse state-run television and question where news stops and propaganda begins.''We're also looking for new voices, and we're willing to give our viewers a try. We don't care if they are from the West Bank or Washington. Global Village Voices will be the platform to be seen and heard via webcams or camera-phones on any and all stories that we do, from anywhere and everywhere, ' Gizbert continued.

Listening Post is a fully commissioned jointly owned programme with Moonbeam Films Ltd. As a commissioning house Al Jazeera International's programmes will include material gathered from freelancers and independent companies all across the globe through a unique commissioning site: Previously Gizbert worked as a correspondent-producer for CJOH-TV in Ottawa, where he produced in-depth features for Sunday Edition, the national current affairs programme. Prior

to that, Gizbert was CJOH's parliamentary correspondent for five years, responsible for national political coverage. For his reporting of a bus hostage situation on Parliament Hill, Gizbert received the National Award for Breaking News Coverage. From 1983 to 1985, Gizbert was a correspondent and political editor for CFTO-TV in Toronto, covering federal politics and co-anchoring special events coverage.

Gizbert is a graduate of Algonquin College in Ontario.


Monday, November 06, 2006

American Occupation Forces close Iraqi stations that criticize kangaroo court system

Two Iraqi channels ordered closed in aftermath of Saddam verdict

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA
Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568
Contact: Abi Wright e-mail: Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

Two Iraqi channels ordered closed in aftermath of Saddam verdict

New York, November 6, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the Iraq Interior Ministry’s decision on Sunday to close two Sunni-owned satellite channels indefinitely. Security forces raided Al-Zawraa TV in Baghdad and Saleheddin TV in Tikrit on grounds they were inciting violence in the hours after former leader Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death, according to news reports and CPJ sources.

The privately-owned Saleheddin TV aired live broadcasts of pro-Saddam demonstrations and then opened its phone lines for callers to express their opinions, according to CPJ sources. Police were seeking the station’s owners, Sunni businessmen Hassan Khatab and Abdelrahman Dahash for questioning, a CPJ source said.

Al-Zawraa, which is owned by Mishaan al-Jubouri, a Sunni legislator from the Liberation and Reconciliation Party, had received several warnings from the government to change its political coverage or face closure, according CPJ sources. Those sources said the channel had sought to avoid a confrontation on Sunday by ignoring demonstrations that erupted after Saddam’s sentence.

Many broadcasters in Iraq have ties to political parties or organizations. Iraqi officials told The Associated Press that security forces closed the stations on broad grounds of undermining national stability and violating a government curfew by interviewing people on the street after the sentence. Al-Jubouri told the AP that Iraqi police raided his station in retaliation for its criticism of the verdict against Hussein.

The U.S.-backed government in Iraq has a record of banning news outlets. In July, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki threatened to shut down any television station deemed to incite sectarianism. On September 7, the government closed the Baghdad bureau of the Dubai-based satellite channel Al-Arabiya for one month. Al-Arabiya Executive Editor Nabil Khatib said the government accused the station of fomenting “sectarian violence and war in Iraq” but did not provide evidence.Al-Arabiya was targeted before. In November 2003, the Iraqi Governing Council, the provisional government appointed by the United States, banned the station from broadcasting in Iraq. Authorities accused the station of incitement after it aired an audiotape in which Saddam purportedly urged Iraqis to resist the U.S.-led occupation. The station was allowed to resume broadcasting in late January 2004.The government continues to enforce the closure of the Baghdad bureau of Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera. It was closed in July 2004 after former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi accused the station of incitement to violence and hatred. Iraqi officials alleged that Al-Jazeera’s reporting on kidnappings had encouraged Iraqi militants; a government statement also accused the station of being a mouthpiece for terrorist groups. Al-Jazeera now operates in the Kurdish-ruled area in northern Iraq.

In an unrelated development, Ahmad al-Rashid, a 28-year-old correspondent for the privately-owned Al-Sharqiya TV, was shot and killed Friday in north Baghdad’s Al-Aathamiya neighborhood, according to CPJ sources. Al-Rashid, who began working for Al-Sharqiya three months ago, was visiting family when he was stopped by gunmen, asked to exit his car, and shot in front of witnesses, CPJ sources said. CPJ is investigating the circumstances behind his murder.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

Friday, November 03, 2006

CWA Urges US Military to release AP Photo-journalist from illegal custody

Guild-CWA Calls for Justice for AP Photographer Held by US Military in Iraq

The Newspaper Guild-CWA is calling on the US military to take action in the case of Bilal Hussein, an Associated Press (AP) photographer who has been held for more than six months by US forces in Iraq on accusations that he is a security threat.

We need you to take action, and tell the military to either provide evidence that Bilal is a security threat or release him.

In a report, the AP said it was told by military officials that Hussein, an Iraqi citizen, was being held for "imperative reasons of security" under United Nations resolutions. AP executives said the news cooperative's review of Hussein's work did not find anything to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents, and any evidence against him should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system.

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s): Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

Sample letter:

We want justice for Bilal Hussein

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Fax: (703) 697-9080
November 3, 2006

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld,

The Newspaper Guild-CWA is deeply concerned by the more than six month detention of Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, who has been held by US forces in Iraq on accusations that he is a security threat.

We urge you to either quickly produce evidence that Mr. Hussein is a security threat and send him to trial or to end his detention immediately. Holding him in limbo is unfair to him personally and sends a threatening message to Iraqi journalists that they may be subject to incarceration simply for doing their jobs.The lack of security in Iraq has led to extremely dangerous conditions for Iraqi media.

Four media workers were murdered in September, targeted by their killers because of their jobs. Since the start of the war in Iraq 139 media workers have been killed.The Iraqi government and the US and coalition forces must show that they are committed to a free press in Iraq by ensuring that journalists are no longer killed with impunity and by also ensuring that journalists are not being held by forces due to opposition to their work.

The Newspaper Guild-CWA supports the Associated Press' review of Mr. Hussein's work, which did not find anything to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents. We also support their assertion that any evidence against him should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system. Mr. Hussein has also asserted his innocence.Iraqi journalists face extreme pressures as the try to provide an accurate picture ofevents in the country and they must be allowed to their jobs. We hope the Iraqigovernment and coalition forces focus on protecting their safety and legal rights, notdetaining them indefinitely.

We look forward to your immediate action on this matter.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New America Media names its National Award Finalists -- Includes Arab American journalist

New America Media Award Winners Spotlight Expanding Ethnic Media Lens

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- New America Media, the country's first and largest association of ethnic media, announces the winners of its First National Ethnic Media Awards, honoring the sector's contributions to American journalism.

Close to 600 ethnic media practitioners competed in 14 categories for recognition in 19 categories, ranging from Investigative Journalism to Best Community Talk Show. More than 50 judges nationwide, from universities, mainstream media and community based organizations, came together via teleconference to judge the entries over one week.

"Hurricane Katrina and immigration rights dominated news in ethnic media over the last year," says awards coordinator Sandip Roy. "Each of these complex stories reflects ethnic media' s unique role as an advocacy voice, as well as a vital source of news and information for their audiences."

Winners confound the conventional view of ethnic media as operating in a cultural silo. This year's winners demonstrate ethnic media's role in building understanding between America's ethnic communities while serving their communities' information needs.

  • Roy Lu, of Mandarin-language KSCI-TV in Los Angeles, traveled to the U.S. Mexican border to bring the issue of undocumented immigrants to Chinese audiences.
  • Euy Hun Yi of The Korea Times became the first Korean-American journalist to report from Afghanistan, where he found many parallels with his home country after the Korean War.
    As important as ethnic media are as community spokespersons, this year's awards also honors those unafraid to turn a critical eye on their own communities.
  • Dennis Romero of Tu Ciudad magazine won the Best In Depth Award for his vivid profiles of Latinos who staunchly oppose illegal immigration, and even volunteer with the Minutemen.
  • Ray Hanania, an Arab-American columnist for a Jewish publication and website, won Best Commentary for his humorous take on some of the thorniest political issues of our time.
"Over the years that NAM has held awards, we have seen more and more efforts by ethnic media outlets to help their audiences understand each other," says Sandy Close, executive director of NAM.

This year NAM honors Pilar Marrero of La Opinion and ReShonda Billingsley of Houston Defender for reporting on black-brown relations and for their exceptional coverage of the immigration debate from the perspectives of both communities.

The New America Media awards will be presented at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m.

New America Media

Commentary /Editorial Writing (English) Winner: Ray Hanania, Ynet News / Yedioth Ahronoth (Orland Park, IL), Three-Part Series: “Shedding Moonlight on Conflict,” “A new Language of Peace” and “Things Palestinians and Israelis share”

Runner-up: Ronault Catalani, The Asian Reporter (Portland OR), "Haditha"
Honorable Mention: Jerry Sullivan, Los Angeles Garment and Citizen (Los Angeles, CA), “Illegals Offer Lesson to Ill-advised Among Us”

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

al-Jazeera International launches Nov. 15


Doha, Tuesday 31st October 2006

The Al Jazeera Network today announced that it will launch Al Jazeera International, the new English-language news and current affairs channel on Wednesday 15th November 2006, with the inaugural broadcast starting from its Doha headquarters at 12 GMT.

As the world’s first international English-language news and current affairs channel headquartered in the Middle East, Al Jazeera International is uniquely positioned to reverse the information flow from South to North and to provide a voice to under-reported regions around the world. With broadcast centres strategically placed in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington DC, and supporting bureaux worldwide, Al Jazeera International is a new force in the global English speaking media with the ability to seek out and cover different perspectives of news through on-the-ground reporting wherever news is made.

On 15th November Al Jazeera International will provide a fresh approach to news and current affairs to a worldwide audience with a combination of 12 hours of live news plus interview programmes and in-depth features and analysis from the world’s hot spots over a 24 hour day. Please click on the link below for a behind-the-scenes look at Al Jazeera International:

Wadah Khanfar, Director General of the Al Jazeera Network said: “We are extremely proud of what Al Jazeera has achieved over the past ten years. Al Jazeera today is an international media organisation. Al Jazeera International will build on the pioneering spirit of Al Jazeera and will carry our media model, based in the South, to the entire world. The launching of the English Channel offers the chance to reach out to a new audience that is used to hearing the name of "Al Jazeera" without being able to watch it or to understand its language. The new channel will provide the same ground-breaking news and impartial and balanced journalism to the English speaking world.”

“It has been a fantastic endeavour to build this TV channel over the last two years with the support of the Al Jazeera network. Everyone involved in the project deserves credit,” said Nigel Parsons, Managing Director, Al Jazeera International, “We will extend the Al Jazeera spirit into the English-speaking world.”

Al Jazeera International is part of the Al Jazeera Network and the sister channel to Al Jazeera. The announcement of the channel’s forthcoming launch on November 15th coincides with the 10-year anniversary of Al Jazeera Arabic language channel.

Al Jazeera’s English language website, is being re-launched with the launch of the English language channel to reflect the channel’s look and feel and editorial content. It will showcase Al Jazeera International’s agenda setting editorial mission and will provide constantly updated coverage of news events from around the world, along with in-depth analysis and background. It will provide RSS feeds, live streams and downloadable clips from the channel, as well as interactive discussions and polling. Programme and presenter information as well as weather reports, live business data and sport will also be available via the website.


Notes to Editors

About Al Jazeera International

Al Jazeera International is the world’s first English language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. Broadcasting from within the Middle East, looking outwards, Al Jazeera International will set the news agenda and act as a bridge between cultures. With unique access as the channel of reference for Middle East events, and broadcast centres strategically placed around the world in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington DC, Al Jazeera International will balance the information flow from South to North, providing accurate, impartial and objective news for a global audience from a grass roots level, giving voice to different perspectives from under-reported regions around the world.

Al Jazeera International is building on the ground-breaking heritage of its sister Arab-language channel – Al Jazeera, which was responsible for changing the face of news within the Middle East, now extending that fresh perspective from regional to global.

*A full list of our global bureaux & correspondents is available upon request.

*An electronic press kit (b-roll) will be made available prior to launch.


For further information please contact:

Doha: Charlotte Dent or Lana Khachan: +974 489 2320/1
Email: javascript:parent.ComposeTo('', '');

UK: Katie Bergius or Deborah Coleman: +44 207 201 2819
Email: javascript:parent.ComposeTo('', '');

US: Marc Smrikarov: +1 212 486 7070
Email : javascript:parent.ComposeTo('', '');

For information relating to the Al Jazeera Network or the 10th Anniversary please contact:Email: javascript:parent.ComposeTo('', '');
Tel: +974 489 6045Fax: +974-487-3577

Friday, October 13, 2006

NEWS: ITN Journalist murdered by "trigger happy" US Marines 3 years ago -- coroner

US forces killed ITN man in Iraq

Terry Lloyd was not "embedded" with the military

A coroner has recorded a verdict of unlawful killing on ITN reporter Terry Lloyd, who was shot dead by US forces in southern Iraq in March 2003.

An inquest heard Mr Lloyd was killed by a US bullet near Basra. His interpreter died and his cameraman is missing.

The inquest heard Mr Lloyd, 50 and originally from Derby, was hit while in a makeshift ambulance, having already been hurt in American-Iraqi crossfire.

The Pentagon denied ever targeting non-combatants, including journalists.

The coroner is to ask the attorney general to consider pressing charges.

Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker said he would also be writing to the director of public prosecutions asking for him to investigate the possibility of bringing charges.
'War crime'

Mr Lloyd's Lebanese interpreter, Hussein Osman, was also killed and French cameraman Fred Nerac is still officially classed as missing, presumed dead. Belgian cameraman Daniel Demoustier was the ITN crew's only survivor.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said Mr Lloyd's killing was a "war crime" and this was echoed by Mr Lloyd's widow, Lyn.

The ITN crew

Terry Lloyd, reporter - killed
Hussein Osman, interpreter - killed
Fred Nerac, cameraman - missing, presumed killed
Daniel Demoustier, cameraman - survived

In a statement she said: "This was a very serious war crime, how else can firing on a vehicle in these circumstances be interpreted?

"This was not a friendly fire incident or a crossfire incident, it was a despicable, deliberate, vengeful act, particularly as it came many minutes after the initial exchange.

"US forces appear to have allowed their soldiers to behave like trigger happy cowboys in an area where civilians were moving around."

A spokesman for the US Department of Defense said: "An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident was completed in May 2003.

"The investigation was limited to the engagement of the vehicle Mr Lloyd was traveling in. The investigation determined that US forces followed the applicable Rules of Engagement

'We do not target non-combatants'

"The Department of Defense has never deliberately targeted non-combatants, including journalists. We have always gone to extreme measures to avoid civilian casualties and collateral damage.

"It has been an unfortunate reality that journalists have died in Iraq. Combat operations are inherently dangerous and we do not take lightly our responsibilities in the conduct of these operations. We do not, nor would we ever, deliberately target a non-combatant civilian or journalist."

His daughter Chelsey said: "The killing of my father would seem to amount to murder, which is deeply shocking."

ITN praised

Mr Lloyd was covering the British and American invasion of Iraq as a "unilateral" journalist, rather than those "embedded" with UK or US forces, who were subject to military censorship.

The ITN crew's vehicle was completely destroyed

He and his three colleagues were caught up in a firefight between US and Iraqi forces near the Shatt Al Basra Bridge on 22 March 2003.

After an eight-day inquest Mr Walker cleared ITN of any blame for Mr Lloyd's death and praised him and his team for their "professionalism and dedication".

He said it was his view the American tanks had been first to open fire on the ITN crew's two vehicles.

He added Mr Lloyd would probably have survived the first bullet wound he received, but was killed as he travelled away in a makeshift ambulance.

Mr Walker said it "presented no threat to American forces" since it was a civilian minibus and was facing away from the US tanks.

The killing of my father would seem to amount to murder, which is deeply shocking
Chelsey Lloyd

"I have no doubt it was the fact that the vehicle stopped to pick up survivors that prompted the Americans to fire on that vehicle," he said.

ITN's editor in chief David Mannion said: "I would also like to say something that I know Terry would have wished me to say.

"Independent, unilateral reporting, free from official strictures, is crucial; not simply to us as journalists but to the role we play in a free and democratic society."

Mr Nerac's widow Fabienne said she would continue her "lonely vigil" to find out what happened to her husband.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Houston Chronicle Editorial: Release uncharged al-Jazeera reporter who has been held 5 years

Oct. 6, 2006, 8:02 PM
EDITORIAL: In legal limbo
An Al-Jazeera cameraman in U.S. detention for five years on suspicion of terrorist activities should be brought to trial or else released

Sudanese national Sami al-Haj was 32 when he was arrested at the Pakistan border in 2001 as he and another journalist for the Middle Eastern news agency Al-Jazeera were attempting to enter Afghanistan to cover the fall of the Taliban regime. In a two-year career as a television cameraman and correspondent, al-Haj made numerous trips into the war zone and sent dramatic images of the fighting to his employer.

What he initially took for a simple passport misunderstanding turned into a five-year, continuing legal nightmare for al-Haj, who currently resides in an eight-by-seven-foot cell at the U.S. terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. He was arrested by Pakistani intelligence officers and turned over to U.S. soldiers, held in Afghanistan and later transported bound and gagged with dozens of other prisoners to the U.S. facility in Cuba. Until last year, the U.S. would not acknowledge it was holding al-Haj, who has a wife and 6-year-old son.

Al-Haj has been accused by military authorities of assisting Chechen and al-Qaida terrorists as a money courier. But al-Haj says that most of his interrogation sessions have focused on the operations of Al-Jazeera, which has frequently obtained and run terrorist videos and tapes and has been criticized by U.S. officials for biased and incendiary reporting. One of the accusations against him is that he interviewed Taliban and al-Qaida leaders, but those are legitimate journalistic endeavors. Al-Haj claims U.S. military officers offered him his freedom in exchange for becoming an informant on Al-Jazeera's activities. He refused.

After five years, al-Haj has yet to be charged or tried, and he continues to maintain his innocence. "With all due respect," he told a Guantanamo administrative review board, "a mistake has been made because I have never been a member of any terrorist group, and I never took part in any terrorist or violent act."

Before his stint with Al-Jazeera, he worked as the administrative assistant for a beverage company owned by a United Arab Emirates national, Muhammad Abdullah al-Umran. In that capacity, he says he legally transported cash for his boss to an Islamic charity in Azerbaijan that was later placed on a terrorist watch list. Al-Haj claims he was simply following instructions and thought the transactions were innocent. He also served as a driver for a visiting friend of al-Umran who later was arrested for involvement in the terrorist bombings of U.S embassies in East Africa. Al-Haj maintains he knew nothing of the man's background.

"There is absolutely zero evidence that he has any history in terrorism at all," says al-Haj's lawyer. Clive Stafford Smith, the legal director of Reprieve, a British human rights group. A report by Joel Campagna of the Committee to Protect Journalists concludes that only a fair and transparent legal process can determine whether al-Haj was a knowing or unwitting conspirator with terrorists or an innocent journalist "plucked from the field while covering the world's biggest story."

According to CPJ, in 2005 U.S. forces held five journalists without charges, including al-Haj and four others in Iraq who were eventually released. That's the same number as Burma, a nation whose military rulers have been criticized repeatedly for violating press freedoms.

Rather than remain in the same category with such unsavory human rights violators, American authorities should swiftly produce any evidence they have against al-Haj and conduct a fair and open legal proceeding consistent with the principles of American jurisprudence. Otherwise, U.S. State Department pronouncements calling for protections for international journalists will continue to have a distinctly hollow ring.

British Official: Wanted to bomb al-Jazeera during Iraq invasion


Former British Home Secretary David Blunkett has acknowledged that he urged Prime Minister Tony Blair to bomb the Baghdad facilities of the Arab news channel al-Jazeera shortly after the invasion of Iraq. As reported by today's (Thursday) London Daily Mirror, Blunkett was asked on the Channel 4 program Dispatches whether he was worried that such an attack would be considered "outside the rules of engagement." He replied: "There wasn't a worry from me because I believed that this was a war and in a war you wouldn't allow the broadcast to continue taking place." The Mirror observed that two weeks later, the station's Baghdad studios were bombed by the U.S., killing journalist Tareq Ayoub. Asked about the attack, Blunkett replied, "I think there's a big difference between taking out the transmission and taking out journalists - even if you don't agree with them."


AP Photographer detained since April 12, 2006 by US Military in Iraq


The U.S. military in Iraq has imprisoned Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein since April 12, 2006, accusing him of being a security threat but never filing charges or permitting a public hearing. "We want the rule of law to prevail," says AP President and CEO Tom Curley. "He either needs to be charged or released. Indefinite detention is not acceptable." Military officials say that Hussein was being held for "imperative reasons of security" under United Nations resolutions. A Pentagon spokesman reiterated that stance Sept. 18. Hussein is a 35-year-old Iraqi citizen and a native of Fallujah. AP executives said an internal review of his work did not find anything to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents, and any evidence against him should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system. Hussein began working for the AP in September 2004. He photographed events in Fallujah and Ramadi until he was detained.Bilal Hussein is one of an estimated 14,000 people detained by the U.S. military worldwide -- 13,000 of them in Iraq. They are held in limbo where few are ever charged with a specific crime or given a chance before any court or tribunal to argue for their freedom. In Hussein's case, Curley and other AP executives say, the military has not provided any concrete evidence to back up the vague allegations they have raised about him. More information is contained in the news stories and press materials below.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pro-Israel bias undermines professional journalism at al-Jazeera International

Pro-Israeli editors seek to influence Al-Jazeera
By: Khalid Amayreh
From the Arab American News, Sept. 23, 2006

When the Qatar-based pan-Arab Al-Jazeera Satellite Television announced two years ago plans to launch Al-Jazeera International (AJI), many people around the world hoped the new satellite channel would provide a genuine alternative to the notoriously biased Western media, which often operates under Zionist influence.

The new channel, the launching of which has been postponed several times, will provide both regional and global perspective to a potential audience of hundreds of millions of English speakers.

AJI is the world's first English-language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East, with news management rotating around broadcasting centers in Athens, Doha, London, Washington, D.C., and Kuala Lumpur.

AJI has already attracted a number of luminaries in the world of TV broadcasting, including such people as Sir David Frost and Riz Khan.

However, it seems that disappointment may lie in wait for many of those who expected to see an international TV channel that is fair and objective and - especially - free from the usual Anglo-American (and Israeli) worldview.

In fact, there are already ominous signs showing that pro-Israeli sympathizers, some of them with a background in the BBC, are exerting control on the editorial policies of the new channel, all under the rubric of professionalism and journalistic standards.

This writer, who has been working for (which has now been incorporated into AJI) has discovered, by chance, efforts by some senior Western editors at AJI to minimize and avoid as much as possible the publication of articles, especially news and feature stories, portraying Israel in a bad light or otherwise exposing Israeli occupation practices against the Palestinian people.

This trend has become quite conspicuous lately., for example, failed to report important newsworthy events from Israel, such as the admission by an Israeli military officer that the Israeli air force dropped over a million cluster bomblets on Lebanon during the recent war with Hizbullah.

Similarly, a story quoting Eifi Eitam, head of a right-wing Israeli party, calling for the expulsion of Palestinians from the occupied territories, was left unreported, even after AJI was notified of the subject.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of similar examples, all showing that AJI is knowingly and deliberately avoiding serious coverage of the Palestinian plight, especially in its feature section which abounds with all kinds of stories covering various - and outlandish - subjects and events.
Earlier this year, one of the pro-Israeli editors contemptuously rejected a human interest story on a Palestinian college student from al-Najah University in Nablus who lost her right eye to an Israeli rubber bullet while on her way home from campus.

The senior editor, Vince Ryan, argued that the subject was not a priority and that would prepare a more comprehensive coverage of similar cases later. Of course, the promised coverage never materialized.

Eventually, thanks to intensive pleading by this writer, the article was posted. (See "Rubber Bullets menace West Bank",, 26 April 2006.)

Ryan apparently never forgave me my "audacity," as was evident from his subsequent behavior. In the third week of June this year, I submitted an article on Palestinian children and minors killed by the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish settlers. The article was based on statistical information released by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

However, instead of thanking me for the article, Ryan, upon seeing it and without giving it a second thought, wrote to tell me that I was lying and that the information contained in the article was false. His vindictive and nervous tone was very telling and spoke volumes.

Unable to reason with the man, who never accepted even a single proposal - and I submitted many - from a series of feature articles he dismissed as "anti-Israeli," I turned to Russell Merryman, Editor-in-Chief for Web and News Media services at AJI, who is probably the most pro-Israeli employee in AJI today.

Instead of treating the matter professionally, Merryman launched a tirade against me, accusing me of lacking professionalism and violating al-Jazeera's professional ethics.

He argued that employing terms such as "martyrs" - even within a quote - was unprofessional (most Arab media employ the term in reference to Palestinians killed by the Israeli army). The same man readily approves quotes by Israeli army spokespersons and Jewish leaders vilifying Palestinians as "terrorists, murderers and thugs."

Finding he had no case against me, Merryman resorted to a red-herring, accusing me of creating confusion and turmoil at from the West Bank - from which I am barred from leaving by the Israeli occupation authorities! And after a brief email exchange, he told me I was fired.

I have written more than 300 pieces for Al-Jazeera's English website, probably more than anybody else, and never encountered any problem with previous editors. Indeed, Merryman himself, after starting work with Al-Jazeera's English website in 2005, praised my professionalism and experience as a journalist.

I don't know for sure why Merryman behaved the way he did. It is quite possible that he had been urged or cajoled by some of his Zionist friends to make sure that "anti-Israeli" articles were rejected.

But I have my suspicions, which I am sure will be vindicated one day.

It may be that he wanted to make AJI coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict a carbon copy of that of the BBC where he had spent several years as producer, presenter and news editor.

That would be a real disaster. Indeed, it was due to the BBC's cumulative coverage of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, at least in part, that a majority of British youths came to think that Palestinians were "the settlers" and Jews were the victims of the "Palestinian settler violence," as was revealed in a British opinion poll a few years ago.

Yes, of course, it is important to be neutral and impartial when covering international conflicts. But it is even more important to be honest when dealing with asymmetrical conflicts where one side is occupied and oppressed and the other is the occupier and oppressor.

Eventually, though somewhat belatedly, the Al-Jazeera administration became conscious, although I don't know to what extent, of the silent but real pro-Israeli lobby that was building-up quietly but steadily within AJI.

This build-up had two main manifestations: neutralizing Palestinian correspondents from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and the intensive reliance on reports by American news agency, the Associated Press, viewed by many as 'Israel's ultimate news agency.'

Needless to say, reports by this agency, whose Jerusalem offices are staffed by extremely pro-Israeli, Jewish-American zealots, never misses a chance to remind readers that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that Palestinian resistance fighters are actually terrorists. AP never ever remembers that timeless maxim that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and that Israel itself is also viewed by hundreds of millions of people around the world as a terrorist state par excellence.

Seeking to rectify the situation before it was too late, Al-Jazeera's top managers appointed Ibrahim Hilal, an able Egyptian journalist, to make sure that AJI didn't drift too much away from the policies of the mother Arabic channel.

Hilal, under instructions from Al-Jazeera General Manager, Waddah Khanfar, asked Merryman to reinstate me as correspondent in Palestine. Merryman complied but only begrudgingly.

On 18 July, Merryman sent me a terse and condescending message, demanding that I apologize to him - I don't know for what - and warning that my performance would be closely monitored. He said he would commission me to write some pieces, but that he, and he alone, would decide when and how. He actually never asked me to write a single piece, despite the numerous newsworthy events taking place in Palestine.

I did propose to him that I undertake some feature stories on the situation in Gaza, the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah and how Israel was barring Palestinians from accessing food and work.

He wouldn't even reply to these messages.

Last week, Merryman decided to change the rules governing the editorial policies of The new rules make sure that "undesirable stories," (e.g. stories that expose Israeli brutality and racism against the Palestinians or those portraying Israel as a Nazi-like entity,) wouldn't find their way to

Merryman has already put this policy into effect. For the past three or four months, not a single feature story about the Israeli persecution of Palestinians, which of late assumed nearly genocidal proportions, appeared on Al-Jazeera's English website. This is while the site abounds with all sorts of stories about outlandish subjects.

Merryman claims he has received full authorization from Al-Jazeera General Director Waddah Khanfar, granting him full authority to decide what is posted on Al-Jazeera's English website.
I have sought to communicate my concerns about this grave trend - now permeating through AJI - to Al-Jazeera's top officials, some of whom have openly voiced their frustration and exasperation in this regard.

One official intimated to me that "Merryman views with utter contempt the way the Arabic channel is run."

Another told me that "this man and his friends want to turn Al-Jazeera into another Fox News or even another Jerusalem Post." The latter is Israel's main right-wing English newspaper, and a mouthpiece for the Jewish settler movement.

I am sure that this article will sign me off from Al-Jazeera. However, I am willing to sacrifice my own personal interest and lose the bulk of my income in the hope that al-Jazeera officials, particularly Chairman Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani and Managing Director Waddah Khanfar, will open their eyes and make sure that al-Jazeera International doesn't become a new weapon in the hands of the enemies of Arabs and Muslims.

For God's sake, don't let them hijack Al-Jazeera under the disguise of journalistic ethics.

Khalid Amayreh is a professional journalist and political analyst from Dura, 10 km south-west of Hebron in the West Bank. His writings appear frequently in Al-Ahram Weekly and Al-Jazeera.


Monday, September 18, 2006

TV Journalist killed in Iraq

IRAQ: TV correspondent murdered in Ramadi

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568 Web: E-Mail: Contact: Abi Wright e-mail: Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

New York, September 18, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder today in Iraq of Ahmed Riyadh al-Karbouli, a correspondent for Baghdad TV. Six gunmen in two Opel cars shot the reporter/cameraman as he chatted with friends after midday prayers outside a mosque in the town of Ramadi, CPJ sources said.

Al-Karbouli, 25, had received numerous death threats from insurgents over the past four months warning him to leave the satellite channel. Baghdad TV is owned by the Iraqi Islamic Party, a major Sunni political group in the country. The party joined the U.S.-backed Iraqi government earlier this year.

“We deplore the murder of our colleague Ahmed Riyadh al-Karbouli and offer our condolences to his family,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “Journalists in Ramadi report under intolerable conditions without any protection to tell the world what is happening in this hotbed of the Iraqi insurgency.”

Ramadi, 70 miles (110 kilometers) west of Baghdad, forms the southwestern point of the “Sunni Triangle,” a focus of Sunni Muslim opposition to the U.S. presence in Iraq.

Many journalists with Baghdad TV have received death threats, including the channel’s other correspondent in Ramadi, a source at the station said.

Al-Karbouli worked at Baghdad TV for two years covering security and the plight of the residents of Ramadi. According to CPJ sources, his features offended some insurgents in Ramadi who felt he was criticizing them. A month ago, gunmen stormed into his house and threatened him in front of his family.

Baghdad TV has lost three other employees since June 2005; two of them were killed by U.S. forces in crossfire. In all, 80 journalists, including al-Karbouli, and 28 media support workers have been killed in Iraq since the war began on March 20, 2003, making it the deadliest conflict in CPJ’s 25-year history.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nielsen releases data on Asian American viewership

AAJA Applauds Nielsen for Releasing Asian American TV Audience Demographics

SAN FRANCISCO (September 11, 2006) -- The Asian American Journalists Association applauds the decision by Nielsen Media Research to provide greater details on television viewers of Asian ethnicity in the United States.Nielsen tracks television-viewing habits of homes across the country. In their news release last month, the company acknowledged that although it had "previously released information on total Asian households, this is the first time that it has released information on national Asian demographics."

The demographics just released include gender, age and cities. Such information can be used by television sales executives and other professionals to target advertising to Asian American populations. In the long run, AAJA believes this can lead to greater presence of Asian American talent in television programs, advertisements or on-air news positions.According to the latest Nielsen audience report, Asians and Hispanic/Latinos are the fastest-growing national segments of the population, with television households for each increasing by 3.6 percent over the last year. The Asian American audience totaled 4,370,000.

"We are pleased to see that Nielsen is tracking and releasing information about Asian American viewers," said Stanton Tang, National Vice President for Broadcast at AAJA, which has been working with Nielsen Media Research over the last year to expand its reporting of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. "This new information provides economic clout to a segment of American society that is too often ignored by network news executives, entertainment executives and advertisers."

AAJA asks that Nielsen Media Research continue offering information about this vital audience, including greater information at the individual Designated Market Areas (DMA) level for use by local television stations.For more information and statistics on the Nielsen audience, see the report at:

About AAJAThe Asian American Journalists Association is a non-profit professional and educational organization with approximately 2,000 members today. Founded in 1981, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry.

AAJA's mission is to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs, and to increase the number of AAPI journalists and news managers in the industry.

AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY Journalists of Color, along with the Native American Journalists Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and National Association of Black Journalists.

For more information, visit


AAJA Contact:
Janice Lee
AAJA Deputy Executive

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Feature on Arab American newspaper in San Antonio Texas

A Muslim Newspaper Begun After 9/11 Now Thrives

ColorLines, News Feature, Daisy Hernández, Sep 11, 2006

Six months after September 11, Sarwat Husain realized she could not be the sole spokesperson for her Muslim community in San Antonio, Texas. So she began a newspaper. Almost five years later, she freely distributes the paper throughout Texas—with paid subscribers in 25 cities across the country. The newspaper, called AL-ITTIHAAD, which means unity, is a compilation of articles relating to Islam and the local Muslim community.

Read full story at:

Organizing an Arab Journalists conference in Chicago for next year

Before Sept. 11, 2001, we had seven Arab American newspapers in Chicago. Within a few months of Sept. 11, all but one closed, forced out of business by repeated hate calls, racist complaints where newspapers were distributed and harassment of advertisers. The survivoer newspaper, al-Offok al-Arabi (The Arab Horizon) was confronted by their web press publisher (all small newspapers need a web press to publish tabloid or broadsheet sizes) and that publisher complained about the topics and the Arabic writing in the paper and refused to print them too. I helped the published at the time find a new web press and they managed to continue to stay in print.

Across the country, we had about 125 Arab American newspapers. Nearly 50 shut down, most permanently, a few resurfaced after a year or so. Today, we have about 85 regularly published Arab American newspapers in the United States.

Much of our success has come through the decisions by two professional journalism organizations to help us stand and survive as professional journalists who happen to be Arab American. The Asian American Journalists Association and the Society of Professional Journalists have both been very supportive -- I have to admit that the National Association of Black Journalists has been opposed to any outreach on our part and have never responded.

But the AAJA and the SPJ have both responded positively and have tried repeatedly to engage us as members in their organizations and allowing us to maintain our identity as Arab American Journalists (who happen to be both Muslim and Christian, by the way. Many Muslim journalists do not feel it appropriate to identify on the basis of religion as that feeds into the growing animosity towards religious extremism and the mixing of religion and politics. Keeping religion apart from politics is so important and NAAJA has worked hard to do that, although we accept membership from anyone who is a journalist, Christian, Muslim or Jewish.)

Anyway, check out both organizations. Arab American journalists SHOULD be members of both and should join. We have some members who are role models, like Anisa Mehdi a PBS producer and independent filmmaker and journalist in new York. She has been a member of the SPJ for years. And many Arab journalists came up to the NAAJA booth at the SPJ covention.

You also want to check out the new blog by the president of the SPJ, Christine Tatum, which is listed among the links on the side of this blog web page and show her support.

Networking and staying focused on professional journalism is a major factor in achieving success as Arab American journalists. We encourage you to associate yourself with professional journalism organizations and avoid those that are overtly engaged in partisan politics. The Middle East is important. But the best way to achieve peace and justice is through honest and accurate journalism that focuses on truth and facts not partisan politics.

Ray Hanania

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

PR: Sudanese terrorist murder journalist

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465‑1004 Fax: (212) 465‑9568 Web: E-Mail:
Contact: Abi Wright
Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

SUDAN: Editor kidnapped and beheaded

New York, September 6, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists deplores the kidnapping and beheading in Sudan of a newspaper editor. Masked gunmen bundled Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed, editor-in-chief of the private daily Al-Wifaq, into a car outside his home in east Khartoum late Tuesday. Police found his severed head next to his body today in the south of the capital. His hands and feet were bound, according to a CPJ source and news reports.

Mohammed Taha had previously angered Islamists by running an article about the Prophet Muhammad. He had also written critically about the political opposition and armed groups in Sudan’s western Darfur region, according to press reports. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing, Reuters reported.

Mohammed Taha, 50, was an Islamist and former member of the National Islamic Front. But in May last year, he was detained for several days, his paper was closed for three months, and fined 8 million Sudanese pounds (US$3,200), after he offended the country’s powerful Islamists by republishing an article from the Internet that questioned the ancestry of the Prophet Muhammad. Demonstrators outside the courthouse demanded he be sentenced to death for blasphemy. Sudan is religiously conservative and penalizes blasphemy and insulting Islam with the death penalty.

Six-months ago, unidentified assailants set fire to the offices of Al-Wifaq, badly damaging the building. The perpetrators were never identified, a CPJ source said.

“We condemn the brutal murder of Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “We call on the Sudanese authorities to find those responsible for the heinous act and bring them to justice.”

Several Sudanese journalists gathered at the Khartoum morgue to protest the murder and demand government protection for the press.

The Arabic-language satellite news channel Al-Jazeera said Mohammed Taha had fought many battles with the government and the opposition parties over his writings and made many political enemies. Because of the article about the Prophet he had received telephone threats from militant Islamic groups in Sudan.

Over the past month, freedom of the press in Sudan has been heavily curtailed. On August 30, Khartoum police beat Ibrahim Muhammad, a cameraman for the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, and seized his camera during a banned demonstration against rises in fuel and sugar prices, Reuters reported. On August 26, a court in El-Fasher charged Paul Salopek, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Tribune, along with his Chadian interpreter and driver, with espionage, illegally disseminating information, and writing “false news.”

Tomo Kriznar, a Slovenian freelance photographer was detained in Darfur on July 19 and sentenced on August 14 to two years in prison on what CPJ considers a spurious charge of espionage.

Read CPJ’s protest letter:

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit