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

UPDATE: UAE Sentences American Spoof Film Maker to One Year in Jail

Posted December 23rd, 2013 at 3:15 pm (UTC+0)
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In follow up to an earlier post, an American citizen is among eight youths in Dubai who have been convicted of “defaming the UAE society’s image abroad” and sentenced to jail terms ranging from eight months to one year. Minnesota resident Shezanne Cassim, along with two Indian co-defendants, received the longest prison sentences — one […]

US: Duck Dynasty Crying Fowl Over Free Speech Rights

Posted December 20th, 2013 at 10:30 pm (UTC+0)
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I’ve hesitated this week to blog about a big free speech debate that’s raging in America, because in the big, global picture, where gays in Uganda risk life in jail and activists in Syria simply disappear, it might seem embarrassingly petty.  But it is about free speech, something we Americans still tangle with. “Duck Dynasty” […]

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Unconfirmed Reports Saudi Arabia May Monitor, Censor Video Internet Uploads

Posted December 19th, 2013 at 10:29 am (UTC+0)
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Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hayat newspaper has reported that the Kingdom is considering setting up a new agency that would monitor and censor video content uploaded onto YouTube and other internet sharing sites.  It quotes the head of the Kingdom’s Commission for Audiovisual Media, Dr. Riadh Najem, who has since criticized the report–though he has not confirmed […]

China Clamps Down on Foreign Journalists – A Conversation With Paul J. Mooney

Posted December 16th, 2013 at 9:14 am (UTC+0)
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  Currently some two dozen journalists from the New York Times and Bloomberg are waiting to receive their visas from the Chinese government, as a year-end deadline approaches.  Meanwhile, web sites of both media outlets have been blocked in China after they published articles detailing the wealth of the families of China’s top leaders. Last […]

New French Law Gives Government Massive Internet, Phone Snooping Powers

Posted December 12th, 2013 at 6:38 pm (UTC+0)
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In spite of fierce opposition from rights activists, the French Senate has passed a controversial new law which allows government agencies to monitor citizens’ phone and internet communications. According to the Index on Censorship, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the French internet freedom advocacy group La Quadrature Du Net, the new law: Authorizes real time, […]

Lebanon: Journalist Covering Weapons Smuggling Stands Accused Himself

Posted December 9th, 2013 at 7:08 pm (UTC+0)
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A small group of friends and supporters were waiting at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri airport Sunday evening for the arrival of Lebanese journalist Rami Aysha.  But they weren’t the only ones.  Lebanese immigration and security were also there.  They took him into custody and on Monday, for the second time this year, Aysha appeared before a military […]

Malaysia: When Censorship Backfires

Posted December 9th, 2013 at 9:24 am (UTC+0)
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Sometimes when you try to censor something, you end up drawing even more attention to it. That’s what the town of Johor Bahru recently discovered when it whitewashed over a street mural town officials believed cast the city in a bad light. You see, Johor Bahru famous for two things:  Asia’s only Legoland amusement park […]

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UPDATE: Elton John Plays Moscow, Criticizes Russian Anti-Gay Laws

Posted December 7th, 2013 at 3:48 pm (UTC+0)
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Sir Elton John went ahead and played at Crocus City Hall in Moscow Friday night, December 6, pausing to explain why he decided to perform.  This full transcript of his remarks is provided on the Elton John Facebook page: “I have something to say. I have always loved coming here, coming to this country, ever […]

Russian Court’s Anti-Gay Ruling Could Threaten Elton John’s Concert Plans

Posted December 7th, 2013 at 8:53 am (UTC+0)
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Sir Elton John is reconsidering an upcoming performance in Russia, says Britain’s Independent, because of a controversial new law that bans “gay propaganda.”  A  ruling by Russia’s highest court that was revealed this week may help him make up his mind:  The Constitutional Court has ruled that the “propaganda” is not a breach of the […]

UPDATE: US Ambassador to UAE Says Shezanne Cassim “Highest Priority”

Posted December 4th, 2013 at 11:37 pm (UTC+0)
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The Minnesota Star Tribune website reports that U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Michael Corbin told U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar the case of Shezanne Cassim, a former Minnesota resident imprisoned in Abu Dhabi, is his “highest priority.” In a phone call late Monday night, Senator Klobuchar also said she plans to discuss Cassim’s […]

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About

About rePRESSEDed

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

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