International Federation of Journalists condemns The New Arab restrictions

International Federation of Journalists condemns The New Arab restrictions
The world's largest federation for journalists has come out in support of The New Arab and al-Araby al-Jadeed after both websites were blocked in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt.
2 min read
07 Jan, 2016
The world's largest journalists' organisation has condemned the blocking of The New Arab in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

The International Federation of Journalists - which represents 600,000 journalists worldwide - issued a statement on Thursday expressing "deep concerns" about the censoring of The New Arab and its sister Arabic service website al-Araby al-Jadeed.

Saudi Arabia's ministry of culture first blocked the websites on 22 December, and was followed by the UAE and Egypt days later.

No reason was given for blocking the sites.

The IFJ believes the decision of these governments to restrict access to the Middle East news and analysis website represents an attack on freedom of the media.

Michelle Stanistreet, general security of the National Union of Journalists said, "This is a serious attack on press freedom and an assault on the news organisation's democratic right to report the news and provide its readers with information."

"The international community must make loud and clear their opposition to the governments of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. This heavy-handed censorship must not be allowed to continue," she continued.

Jim Boumelha, IFJ president, also condemned the move. 

"The blocking of this news web site with no proper explanation given for such act is another blow to press freedom in the region. It is a curb to citizens' rights to have access to diverse sources of information. That is why we call on governments of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt to immediately lift this ban."

If you feel strongly about the curbing of press freedoms in the Middle East, you can write your comments on Twitter using the Arabic-language hashtag #الجديد العربيحجب.