For defending freedom of opinion and expression

May 25th, 2010 by Editor

EOHR supports the journalists of Al Youm Al Sabe and Al Masry Al Youm

 EOHR expresses its full solidarity with the journalists of Al Youm Al Sabe and Al Masry Al Youm newspapers ( Magdy El Galad, Hossam Sadaka, Khaled Salah, and Nour Ali ) after judge. Mohamed El Hossiny, president of the Council of the State, submitted a report to the Attorney -General against them after the two newspapers published the prosecution report on a bribery case of  Mohamed Farid Khamis and two former counselors in the Council of the State, the matter which considered a defend for freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed by the Constitution and the international covenants concerned with human rights(1).

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, chairman of EOHR,  has confirmed his respect to  the Egyptian judiciary and its provisions which may not be prejudiced, however this should not prevent the press and the journalists to detect cases of corruption , bribery, and exploiting influences in the frame of adopting their duties and giving effect to freedom of opinion and expression  guaranteed by the Constitution and the international covenants concerned with human rights. He stressed that press should interact with corruption cases, in the frame of defending citizen’s right to free and responsible press away from the policy of exaggeration.   

Mr. Abu Seada added that the freedom of the press is considered a part of the democratic project which different political and social forces have called for, as president Mubarak confirmed it in his electoral program 2005. He called for building new horizons which guarantee more freedom of opinion and expression and provide the citizens all opportunities to access to information, and realizing  the different point of views through free mass media, helping citizens to choose among different alternatives, however he called the press for not releasing quickly  judgments which could affect the judicial process and it will affect the path of  combating the corruption and bribery  cases which may lead to accuse innocent people. This situation will not contribute in stabilizing the state of right which is the main goal for different sectors of the  state.   

In this context , EOHR calls for  stopping  all means of monitoring  on freedom of  opinion  and expression and also demanded the execution of  the presidential promise  in 2004 on  canceling of the imprisonment  sanctions  in the publishing cases and to confront such threats which the press was subjected to, calling all forces of civil society organizations to come together and support journalists who subjected to imprisonment sanctions, and the importance of finding an effective mass media and professional press and to  contribute  to strengthen   values of integrity and transparency in the society.

It is worth mentioning that  the report of judge. Mohamed El Hossiny stated that El Masry El Youm has published in its number 2165 – page 7  issued in 18th of May  an article entitled ” El Masry El Youm is publishing the report of  public prosecution on the bribery  case of the counselors  and personnel of the Council of the State in the case No.470 of 2008, this was the report which was written by one of the editors , and the report dealt with what published in  El Youm El Sabaa issue no.81 in page 12 under the title of  “The invisible facts of the great bribery case”, this report included a lot of issues  stated in the report of the  supreme state security  prosecution .

 (1)  The universal declaration of Human Rights provided that”

Article 19.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 19 of the international covenants on civil and political rights  provided that “

1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

2. 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.

3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

Article 47 of the constitution provided that”

Article 47

Freedom of opinion is guaranteed.

Every individual has the right to express his opinion and to publicise it verbally or in writing or

by photography or by other means within the limits of the law.

Self-criticism and constructive criticism is the guarantee for the safety of the national

 

Article 48 of the constitution provided that “

Freedom of the press, printing, publication and mass media shall be guaranteed.

Censorship on newspapers is forbidden as well as notifying, suspending or cancelling them

by administrative methods.

In a state of emergency or in time of war a limited censorship may be imposed on the

newspapers, publications and mass media in matters related to public safety or purposes of

national security in accordance with the law.

Article 207

The Press shall exercise its true vocation freely and independently in the service of society

through all means of expression.

It shall thus interpret the trend of public opinion, while contributing to its formation and

orientation within the framework of the basic components of society, the safeguard of the

liberties, rights and public duties and respect of the sanctity of the private lives of citizens, as

stipulated in the Constitution and defined by law.

 

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