Cecily Hilleary
Cecily began her reporting career in the 1990s, covering US Middle East policy for an English-language network in the UAE. She has lived and/or worked in the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf, consulting and producing for several regional radio and television networks and production houses, including MBC, Al-Arabiya, the former Emirates Media Incorporated and Al-Ikhbaria. She brings to VOA a keen understanding of global social, cultural and political issues.

All posts by Cecily Hilleary

Iran Detains Washington Post Reporter, Wife And Colleagues

Posted July 25th, 2014 at 1:05 am (UTC+0)
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Iran today confirmed the arrest of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, his wife Yeganeh Salehi and two unnamed U.S. citizens who work with him as photojournalists. Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, Director General of the Tehran Province Justice Department, as saying no further information will be released about Rezaian until “technical investigations” […]

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Swaziland: Doing Your Job Could Cost You Your Freedom

Posted July 23rd, 2014 at 4:05 pm (UTC+0)
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  ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,’ says Marcellus in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, famously. That story didn’t end so well, but at least someone knew there was a problem. Swaziland’s King Mswati III is not so self-aware – or perhaps he’s just masking the stench with the new leather in his fancy cars and […]

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China: Xinjiang Authorities Ban Ramadan Fast

Posted July 4th, 2014 at 12:50 pm (UTC+0)
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It’s the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which means Muslims across the globe are are fasting from dawn til sunset — everywhere, that is, except in northwestern China. Authorities in the Turkestan district of Xinjiang have banned Muslim Uighurs from fasting or taking part in any other religious activities […]

Egypt: “Appalling” Verdict in Al Jazeera Journalist Trial

Posted June 23rd, 2014 at 1:32 am (UTC+0)
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One of the first thoughts I had when I woke up this morning was that today was going to be the day that we would finally hear the fate of three Al Jazeera journalists, Egyptian-Canadian acting Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy, Australian reporter Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, who, along with 17 others, have […]

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Iraq: First Journalist Casualty A Reminder of Reporter Safety Basics

Posted June 20th, 2014 at 2:08 pm (UTC+0)
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  Reporters Without Borders (RSF) this week announced a journalist was killed covering the offensive against the Iran-backed Shiaa government of Nouri Al-Maliki in Iraq by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as ISIL) and other Iraqi Sunni groups. Khaled Ali Hamada, an Al-Ahad TV cameraman died Monday in the eastern […]

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#KeepingScore: During FIFA 2014, Rights Group Campaigning to Defend Free Expression

Posted June 16th, 2014 at 11:23 am (UTC+0)
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  While the world’s are fixed on the 2014 FIFA World Cup games underway in Brazil, the global association of writers PEN International has launched an internet campaign calling on Brazil and eleven other countries participating in this year’s football games to respect and protect free expression. The campaign calls on PEN members and everyone […]

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Thailand: In Wake of Coup, Media Freedom Threatened

Posted May 27th, 2014 at 3:33 pm (UTC+0)
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Media rights groups are expressing outrage and calling on the Thai junta to release two journalists  arrested last week after the military declared martial law on that country. The Bangkok Post reports Pravit Rojanaphruk, a journalist with the daily Nation, was summoned to the headquarters of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) where […]

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Pakistan Gives Indian Journalists The Boot

Posted May 14th, 2014 at 3:29 pm (UTC+0)
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The government of Pakistan is expelling two Indian journalists, a move that New Delhi calls a “retrograde step.” Press Trust of India‘s (PTI) Snehesh Alex Philip and The Hindu‘s Meena Menon received letters late Tuesday evening from the Pakistan government’s External Publicity Wing notifying them that it would not extend their visas and giving them […]

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Pakistan: Do Religious Laws Embolden Extremists?

Posted May 12th, 2014 at 8:47 am (UTC+0)
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Lawyers and human rights activists in Pakistan are mourning the murder of a prominent human rights lawyer who was gunned down in his office May 8th by unknown assailants. Rashid Rehman, 53, was the lawyer representing Junaid Hafeez, the Bahauddin Zakariya University lecturer is accused of spreading blasphemy — it is unclear whether he actually […]

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Gambia: Journalists’ ‘Hell on Earth’?

Posted May 8th, 2014 at 10:54 am (UTC+0)
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December 16, 2004:  A group of reporters and editors of a popular Gambian newspaper were holding a small celebration in their Banjul office at the end of a busy day.  They had reason to be jubilant:  Exactly 13 years earlier, editor Deyda Hydara and his friend Pap Saine had published the first issue of The Point, […]

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About rePRESSEDed

VOA reporter Cecily Hilleary monitors the state of free expression and free speech around the world.



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