The Middle East: Where press freedom goes to die

The Middle East: Where press freedom goes to die
Special coverage: The Middle East is one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists. We bring you an insight into the perils of reporting from this region.
2 min read
02 May, 2018
The freedom of the press is fundamental to a fair and just society. Yet journalists, intellectuals and broadcasters are increasingly being silenced by authoritarian regimes across the Middle East. 

The New Arab considers itself lucky to have correspondents in a number of Arab countries that are profoundly under-reported by other outlets. Being on the ground however, it has become increasingly difficult for our reporters to carry out their roles without danger.

Since January 2018, 17 journalists have been killed worldwide, including two in Palestine in April. Two citizen journalists were killed in Syria in February and March, and one died in Yemen in January. 

Dozens of journalists have also been imprisoned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Iran, Libya, Syria, Turkey, Kuwait and Morocco, highlighting the dangerous and volatile work environments.

In Yemen, independent and objective journalism has turned into a life-threatening occupation. Our correspondent Adel Al-Ahmadi describes the situation as one of the worst places in the world to work as a journalist.
The press is one of the first victims of war
- Adel, Yemen
Since the Houthi-led coup, those who have not been persecuted or targeted by the Houthis and their allies have been forced to close their newspapers because of a lack of funding and extremely dangerous working conditions to the point where freedom of expression is difficult.
The Sudanese regime sees journalists as an enemy and directs all its weapons at them
- Alawia, Sudan
In Sudan, a lesser-covered part of the region, Alawia Mukhtar tells of a constant battle between the media and the government, where character assassinations and intimidation is the norm.

Despite all of these risks, we remain passionate about our mission to hold power to account - especially in one of the most corrupt and under-reported corners of the world.

We've broken our special coverage down into individual countries. Click on our Special Contents tab to find out more about press freedom in that country.

(Note: This is an updated version of our press freedom coverage from last year)