A new relapse for freedom of opinion and expression,Cairo Criminal Court sentences Yasser Barakat to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of 20 000 EGP

June 25th, 2009 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its deepest worries on the continuous imprisonment sentences issued against journalists, which is considered a clear violation to the freedom of the press in Egypt. On Wednesday 24/6/2009, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Yasser Barakat, editor in chief of Al Mogaz newspaper, to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of 20 000 EGP in case No. 2453-2008 which represents a new relapse to the right to freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed under the Egyptian Constitution and international covenants concerned with human rights.

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The facts of the case return back to the suit brought by Mostafa Bakry against Yasser Barakat on 27/11/2007 after publishing a report on Bakry in Al Mogaz newspapers.

EOHR confirms its refusal to sentence journalists to imprisonment in publishing cases, as the civil courts or civil compensation and financial penalties are appropriate to the cases of opinion and publication.

It also emphasizes the right to critic public figures and members of parliament as this right is guaranteed for the press and one of the main tools for observation.

EOHR calls Egyptian authorities, Journalists Syndicate and all social forces to move quickly to abolish imprisonment sentence in publishing cases in accordance with the provisions of conventions and international covenants concerned with human rights. Also it is necessary to add legislative amendments to such articles which sentence journalists to imprisonment in all laws related to expression , publishing and printing, and to adopt a legal mechanism to convict and question on veiling information , and finally the prohibition for imposing any restrictions that impede the free flow of information, without prejudice to the requirements of defense and national security and non-discrimination to access information among various newspapers.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 2:31 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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