Tuesday , August 16 2022

"In Arrest" … The State of Media Freedoms in the Arab World


Nidal Mansour /

"In Arrest" … The state of media freedoms in the Arab world is the title chosen by the Center for the Protection and Freedom of Journalists for its annual report, which monitors and documents violations against journalists in Arab countries.

The headline clearly points to the growing prison of journalists and the increasing pressure and restrictions on them. This is evident in the fragmentation and collapse of the media and many of them depend on regimes, which is clearly evident from the reports of international organizations defending media freedom. The Arab world is one of the most dangerous places for journalists and the bloodiest place, and hundreds of media victims of terrorism, tyranny and oppression in recent years have fallen into its territory.

A seven-year report on the state of media freedoms for 2018 is expected to be released and published in the coming weeks. It monitors 3029 violations against journalists in 15 Arab countries and reveals that Palestine is the largest country to commit violations against journalists. Israeli occupation followed by Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

No bets have been made to improve the state of liberties following the defeat of 'daring'

Sudan is ranked second with the highest number of violations, followed by Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon.

The number of offenses against the media has declined in 2018, but media freedom has not improved. With the exception of Tunisian experience, which has witnessed progress, Arab countries are experiencing consistent failures that are most evident in the reality of public freedoms, especially freedom of expression and information.

"Silent States" This is the label launched by the report on countries where violations cannot be monitored in media such as the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, which shows that there are mostly no independent media in these countries but the press is censored in most cases. Moreover, documenting information and detecting violations is difficult and difficult, and most journalists who work with them are "expatriates" rather than citizens and are afraid to give any information, even if they have been mistreated or violated. In addition, these countries do not have independent and effective civil society institutions that monitor, monitor and document human rights violations and therefore the report's conclusion is "states of silence" or darkness. If the violations disappear or are not reported, this does not mean that they have freedom of information.

In the opposite direction, countries with many violations, such as Palestine, Egypt or Iraq, have much more freedom of the press and media than countries whose light is unknown. People close their mouths until they give up their lives.

The pledge was that the state of freedom would improve after the victory of the Da'as Organization in Iraq and Syria. In recent years, it has been behind the most murders, homicides and abductions. But the bittersweet reality is that Arab regimes have never tolerated media freedom and continue to abuse it.

The most painful aspect of the media freedoms scene is that judicial authorities alleged to be justice guardians are a key partner in wrongdoing. They violate all fair trial standards, hold journalists in detention and issue sentences prison against the law, the constitution and all international treaties that protect freedoms.

Judiciary is a partner in wrongdoing when standards of fair trial are lost

Arab countries sign and ratify international treaties that protect freedom of expression and information. The constitutions provide for their protection of freedoms. In fact, all these texts are nothing more than "ink on paper". Managing authorities and their security agencies are not interested in blocking websites or confiscating newspapers. After the press, the censorship, the murder of the journalists, or even when they decide to kill them with cold blood with all the positions and statements condemning these violations and violations, they have been and still view the media as hopeful and the opponent reveals their secrets and crimes.

4034 violations monitored by the Report of the Center for the Protection and Freedom of Journalists in 2015, 3581 violations were documented in 2016 and violations were reduced to 3100 in 2017, while 3029 violations were registered in 2018, but strange and exciting, despite the frequent excesses and complaints, the perpetrators who committed these crimes are not held accountable. They take legal action and have escaped punishment, and this is the most dangerous thing in the Arab world.The perpetrators are not free at all and their victims are not theirs. proxies.

What distinguishes the report from the Center for the Protection and Obscenity of Journalists is that it may be the only one specialized in the monitoring of offenses in the Arab world. It not only depends on the general indicators and the state of liberties in the countries, but documents the most significant violations and listens to the voices of the victims. International reports and provides them with more detailed information.

Read about the writer as well: 30 years. Democracy in Jordan is your secret place

The opinions and views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the Middle East Broadcasting Network (MBN).
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