Al Sayeda Zeinab Misdemeanor Court sentences 5 journalists to a fine of 10 000 L.E

February 26th, 2009 by Editor


Sayeda Zeinab Misdemeanor court issued today Thursday 26 / 2 / 2009 its decision  in case No.  17532 of 2008 known as “The case of violating the publishing ban” in the case of the murder of Suzanne Tamim. The court sentenced 5 journalists from the newspapers Al-Masry Al-Youm and El-Wafd to a fine of  10 000 L.E  for each journalist . 



Cairo Criminal Court transferred Magdi El-Galaad, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, Abbas El-Trabeeli, Editor-in-Chief of El-Wafd newspaper, Yusri El-Badri, Farouk El-Dusouqi journalists at Al-Masry Al-Youm, and Ibrahim Qira’a, a journalist at El-Wafd, to the Public prosecution  office  for violating the decision of  the Attorney General  concerning the publishing ban  in the case of the murder of Suzanne Temim. They also published full details of one of the court sessions whereby the public prosecutor decided to transfer the case to the Sayeda Zeinab Misdemeanor court that issued the previous decision.


In this regard, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights ( EOHR) shows its deepest worries  concerning the replacement of the imprisonment sanction by exaggerated   fines imposed on journalists , it calls the government for extenuating these fines, particularly in the light of the low salaries of journalists.



At the same time, EOHR stresses that these high punishments are just one aspect of the restriction of freedom of opinion and expression, which contradicts the Egyptian Constitution in general and in particular, and international covenants on human rights. Among those covenants , is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that provides in article (19) the “Freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Similarly, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights issued in 1966 confirms that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”


The Egyptian government ratified these covenants  and they thereby became an essential part of its domestic law, in accordance with article 151 of  the constitution. In addition, the matter breaches Egypt‘s obligation  before  the International Council on Human Rights to maintain freedom of the press. 


At the same time, EOHR requests that the government looks again at the structure of journalists’ salaries as, according to the indications of the World Bank, their salaries are below the poverty line. EOHR also requests that the government stops applying the Penal Code to criminalize freedom of expression and freedom of the press. It should also put into practice its international commitments related to the freedom of expression, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2009 at 2:36 pm and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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