A new violation for freedom of opinion and expression 6 months imprisonment for editor -in -chief of a website

August 3rd, 2010 by Editor

On 28/7/2010 Al Saf partial court sentenced  Sherif Abd El Hamid, editor -in- chief of Al Saf website to 6 months imprisonment in absentia and a fine of 200 EGP in case registered under No. 8318 -2010 -Al Saf Misdemeanor.

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Al Saf prosecution summoned Sherif on 27/6/2010 for investigation in the report No. 6/2010 submitted by member of the parliament – Al Saft constituency to Information and Documentation department of the Ministry of the Interior accusing Sherif  of libel and defame, so the prosecution charged him with publishing such statements on the website during May and June 2010 dealt with criticizing the member and considering him one of the reasons for the poor living conditions and service status in Al Saf area- Helwan governorate.

And so, the public prosecution issued a decision of releasing him on a bail  of 1000 Egyptian pounds, however  Sherif refused to pay the bailment as this  falls under the freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by article No. 47 of the Constitution and Article No. 19 of the international covenant on civil and political rights. Sherif said also that what he has said, comes in the context of the permissible criticism. And so, the public prosecution decided to refer  him to the evening prosecution to take the formal procedures with regard to the abstention to pay the bailment. The evening prosecution issued a decision of detaining Sherif Abd El Hamid 4 days in custody. This action forced Sherif to begin an unlimited hunger strike inside Al Saf police station, as a result, the public prosecution decided to release him on his own residence.

The general advocate has sent back the case no.6 for 2010-economic misdemeanor, to Al Saf prosecution on 7-7-2010, after refusing to refer it to the economic court. Sherif Abd El Hameed was surprised when the judge has sentenced him in the first session of his trial on 28-7-2010. 

EOHR, has received a compliant from the activists states that he didn’t receive any declaration of the above mentioned case. This judgment issued after he submitted a report to the attorney general against the director of Al Saf public prosecution because of the obstinacy he was subjected during the previous investigations and his lawyer wasn’t able to see the case’s papers. The report registered under no.12390 in 29/6/2010. no decision has been taken until now.

EOHR expresses its deeply concern as a result of the continuous imprisonment sanctions. EOHR confirms that these sanctions are one of the forms that restrict the freedom of opinion and expression, the matter which contradicts with the Egyptian constitution and the international covenant of human rights, besides the violation of Egypt’s pledges before UN Human Rights Council as it pledged to respect the freedom of the press.

EOHR appeals to the government, the press syndicate and all society forces to cooperate together to cancel the imprisonment sanctions in publishing crimes  in accordance with the international covenants concerned with  human rights. EOHR confirms the necessity of adding legislative amendments on articles that sentence journalists to imprisonment. Working on stating  a legal mechanism to criminalize on  hiding any information from a journalist by any side and prohibit imposing any restriction that delay the free flow of information  without  violating the requirements of defense, national security and not distinct between newspapers in obtaining information.            

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 11:18 am 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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