A new deterioration for freedom of opinion and expression, Dokki Misdemeanor Court sentences the editor in chief of Al Shorouk newspaper and others to one year imprisonment
October 29th, 2009 by Editor
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its deepest worries on the continuing issuance of imprisonment sentences against journalists. On 27/10/2009 Dokki Misdemeanor Court sentenced Salama Ahmed Salama, editor in chief of Al Shorouk newspaper and Saber Mashhour, chief of accident department in the same newspaper to one year imprisonment and a fine of 200.00 L.E in case No. 14212-2009 which the matter which represents a new deterioration for freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed under the Egyptian Constitution and international covenants concerned with human rights.
In this regard, EOHR will submit a proposal of a new bill to abolish prison sentences in all cases of publishing and to satisfy with the fine punishment after increasing its minimum and maximum limits.
The facts of this case returns back to the lawsuit filed by Adel Ali Al-Najar and 17 individuals against Al Shorouk newspaper which issued a new on 31/3/2009 concerning briberies received by them and reached 10 millions for the implementation of units of the National Project for Housing in 6th of October City, the matter which applicants considered it as defame and libel in their rights. So the court issued its previous decision . It is worth noting that civil applicant is accused in case No. 61-2009 of receiving briberies and postponed for study to 3/11/2009.
In this regard, EOHR confirms that issuing this decision is considered a clear violation to the principle of freedom of opinion and expression and exchanging information and the right to access information. It calls for stopping these decisions as President Mubarak promised to abolish it in February 2004 to protect the freedom of the press, journalists, and pursuant to the Constitution and international covenants which guarantee the right of freedom of opinion and expression.
EOHR appeals to the government and journalists syndicate and all forces of society to work quickly to eliminate prison sentences for publishing crimes and to add legislative amendments to articles that punish journalists with imprisonment in all laws related to expression, publishing and printing.
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