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Amanpour confronts Egyptian businessman over jailing of journalists

January 14th, 2014
03:29 PM ET

Egypt businessman on the state of Egypt

Naguib Sawiris Egyptian businessman financially backed anti-Morsy protests

By Mick Krever, CNN

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday confronted Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris over the jailing of three al Jazeera journalists in that country.

Sawiris – one of Egypt’s wealthiest citizens, founder of the Free Egyptians Party and former chairman of the telecom giant Orascom – provided financial support for the opposition to former President Mohamed Morsy.

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed from Al Jazeera English were arrested by Egyptian authorities on December 29 and have been held since.

Egyptian authorities say the journalists held illegal meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was declared a terrorist group last month.

“Three of my colleagues are in jail for doing their job, as you know well,” Amanpour said.

Sawiris raised doubts about the journalists’ credentials to be in the country, and said that al Jazeera was “fabricating” stories.

“These are allegations that they’ve obviously denied, and we deny it on behalf of our colleagues as well,” Amanpour said.

Click above to see Amanpour’s full interview with Sawiris.

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Egypt • Journalism • Latest Episode

NSA spying has nothing to do with terrorism, Greenwald tells Amanpour

October 28th, 2013
05:04 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Spying by America’s National Security Agency does not have “anything to do with terrorism,” Glenn Greenwald, the activist journalist who broke the story, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

“Is Angela Merkel a terrorist? Are sixty or seventy million Spanish or French citizens terrorists? Are there terrorists at Petrobras?” he asked rhetorically. “This is clearly about political power and economic espionage, and the claim that this is all about terrorism is seen around the world as what it is, which is pure deceit.”

The latest revelations of American spying involve the alleged taping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal mobile phone and that the U.S. gathered data about 60 million Spanish phone calls in a single month, which comes after similar reports from France.

Greenwald, formerly of The Guardian, has been systematically publishing reports of secret American intelligence gathering since he was given a treasure trove of leaks by former intelligence officer Edward Snowden.

“It is not true that every country intercepts the personal communications of their democratically elected allies,” Greenwald told Amanpour, referring to the oft-repeated criticism put forward by true believers that “everyone does it.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Journalism • Latest Episode

Veteran editor Harold Evans calls for British First Amendment protecting press

October 28th, 2013
03:52 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The United Kingdom needs its own version of the First Amendment protecting press freedom, former editor of The Times and The Sunday Times Harold Evans told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

Evans spoke with Amanpour as one of the great journalistic trials of our time got underway in London: that of two former newspaper editors from the Rupert Murdoch empire, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson.

They face charges that include conspiring to hack mobile phones at the now-defunct tabloid newspaper The News of the World.

Among the victims of phone hacking by newspapers was Milly Dowler, a schoolgirl who was later found murdered.

The scandal sparked the creation of the Leveson Inquiry, which after hearing from 180 witnesses recommended a number of reforms to the British press. Ministers and journalists are still at odds over underpinning regulation with legislation.

“I’ve always thought the First Amendment was a pretty good idea, actually,” Evans told Amanpour. “And what Leveson proposed in effect was to create a kind of British First Amendment.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Journalism • Latest Episode • United Kingdom

Rusbridger: Order to gut drives came ‘on behalf of Cameron’

August 22nd, 2013
06:26 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The senior British official who asked the Guardian to destroy hard drives containing leaked information about the NSA was “acting on behalf of the prime minister,” David Cameron, Editor-in-Chief Alan Rusbridger said on Wednesday.

Rusbridger said that the official, whom he said has now been identified as Jeremy Heywood, the cabinet secretary, first contacted him in mid June.

“He said he was acting on behalf of the prime minster,” Rusbridger said. “For a period of a month, it was a cordial conversation.”

But by mid-July, Rusbridger said, “it became an explicit threat of legal action if we didn’t either return the disks or destroy them.”

The Guardian complied, physically destroying the hard drives – Rusbridger has even tweeted a photo of a dismembered Macbook Pro.

“The point, which I explained to the British officials, was that Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter, lives in Brazil,” Rusbridger told CNN’s Hala Gorani, who was sitting in for Christiane Amanpour. “He has a copy, and we already have another copy in America. So destroying a copy in London wasn’t going to stop us from reporting.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Journalism • Latest Episode

Did UK government target journalist?

August 20th, 2013
05:41 PM ET

Was Glenn Greenwald, the reporter for The Guardian who broke story of secret NSA surveillance, targeted by the UK government? His partner, David Miranda, was held for nearly nine hours at London's Heathrow Airport on Sunday.

CNN's Hala Gorani, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, discusses the question with Brooke Gladstone, the host of NPR's "On the Media" in the U.S.

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Journalism • Latest Episode

Iraq: Where were the journalists?

March 18th, 2013
06:09 PM ET

How could so many incorrect assertions in the lead up to the Iraq war have been taken as fact?

After the war, some of the United States’ leading newspapers were forced to apologize for getting it so wrong.

But two reporters consistently got it right: Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, former Knight Ridder reporters for the McClatchy newspapers.

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour marking the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, they cited reporters’ access to top officials in Washington as one of the top problems. The top-level bureaucrats, they said, had more of a propensity to spin toward the line that the Bush Administration was pushing.

“Most of our reporting was with intelligence, military and diplomatic midlevel and lower level – the types that journalists don't really talk to or go after,” Warren Strobel told Amanpour.

In the video above you can watch the complete interview, reflecting on journalism in the lead up to the Iraq war. The journalists also explain why some of their own newspapers wouldn’t even print their stories.

Filed under:  Iraq • Journalism • Latest Episode

Killing the messenger, when journalists become targets

February 22nd, 2013
05:41 PM ET

By Claire Calzonetti, CNN

For generations journalists have risked their lives and given their lives – covering wars, human disasters and uncovering dark and ugly crimes.

Over the past several years the targets of these stories have increasingly turned their guns on the truth-seekers: the journalists.

Exactly one year ago veteran foreign correspondent Marie Colvin – a legend in journalism – was killed by a shelling attack in Syria. French photographer Remi Ochlik was killed alongside her.

British photographer Paul Conroy, who survived that attack, says he is sure they were specifically targeted.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says 70 journalists were killed in 2012, a 49% increase from the previous year.

232 journalists are imprisoned around the world and 35 are missing.

A new campaign called "A Day Without News" is trying to raise awareness and bring penalties to those who target journalists.

One of the leading voices in that campaign belongs to New York Times photographer Lynsey Addario.

In the video above CNN’s Christiane Amanpour speaks with Addario about the campaign and discusses how she and three of her colleagues were abducted while covering the Libyan revolution and held for six terrifying days.

Filed under:  Journalism • Latest Episode

Tom Brokaw: Risks and rewards from warzone reporting

December 18th, 2012
05:15 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

Veteran anchor Tom Brokaw kept tabs on his colleague, Richard Engel, from the first days of his captivity in Syria, he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

Engel was freed on Monday after five days of captivity in Syria, where he was reporting for NBC.

Engel believes his kidnappers were members of the Shabiha – the militia allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – and that his captors hoped to exchange him and his team for Iranian agents held by the Syrian opposition.

It is the nightmare that shadows all journalism organizations and reporters who cover the world's danger zones.

For more than two decades Tom Brokaw was the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News. He oversaw Engel from his first days at the news network.

Brokaw said he was overjoyed when Engel was released, but added that there is an extremely delicate balance between a reporter’s safety and the important work of doing journalism on the front lines.

“Now that Richard is out, I said one of the after-action evaluations we have to do is: What are the risks and what are the rewards for these assignments,” Brokaw told Amanpour, “But at the same time you’ve got to get on the ground to find out what is going on.”

The Committee to Protect Journalist says this was one of the deadliest years for journalists: Sixty seven have been killed covering stories this year.

Filed under:  Journalism • Latest Episode

French cartoonist defends Mohammed drawings

September 19th, 2012
05:23 PM ET

Cartoonist defends drawings of Mohammed

The French cartoonist known as "Luz" defends his Mohammed drawings in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.


Free expression or provocation?

Journalist and author Bernard-Henry Levy weighs in on the cartoons recently published in a French magazine.

By Samuel Burke

Is shouting fire in a crowded theater free speech?

That debate has been sparked once again by a series of cartoons published in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, some of which depict the Prophet Mohammed in obscene poses.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed a cartoonist from the magazine, who is known as Luz. He said, “Everyone can have his own interpretation,” that the drawings were not made to shock people.

As for the violence that could come as a result of the cartoons, Luz said he would not accept any blame.

“Who is responsible for killing? It is the killer,” Luz said. “It’s quite unfair to say we are responsible for this. It’s fear that is responsible.”  FULL POST

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Journalism • Latest Episode
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