New setback of the freedom of expression in Egypt

August 23rd, 2012 by Editor

On August 23, 2012, Giza Criminal Court, in a session headed by judge Mohamed Fahim Darwish, ordered detaining Islam Afifi, editor-in-chief of Al Dostor newspaper following discussing his charges including insulting the Egyptian president according to the lawsuit no. 10443, year 2012. The lawsuit discussion was postponed to the court session dated September 16, 2012. 

Before flew days the State Security Prosecution General Office discussed the official complaints against Afifi and the newspaper including:

          Insulting the state president in 10 editions. The editions accused the president of having militias of thugs ready for attacking his enemies.

          Releasing rumors and fake news that badly affect the national security such as selling Sinai’s lands to Palestinians in addition to allowing terrorists to cross Rafah Border Gate with machineguns for frightening people there.

          Releasing rumors and fake news that badly affect the national interests and induce horror.

As regards these events, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights affirms that this kind of trials does not comply with the democratic transformation era under the ruling of an elected president, the right to criticize within the press is an expressed right within the Constitutional Declaration as well as various international conventions that regard human rights and, in particular, the freedom of expression. Moreover, EOHR reaffirms that the freedom of expression is, in and of itself, a cornerstone in the foundation of any democratic society, and therefore emphasizes the importance of preserving that freedom.

In this concern, EOHR calls upon president Morsi to immediately release Islam Afifi in addition to cancelling all these articles of the Egyptian penal code that mention detaining journalists and media specialists in connection with publishing violations.

Mr. Hafez Abo Seada, President of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, assert that arresting media specialists for insulting the state president is similar to the policies practiced by the other old regimes in Egypt the aimed at controlling media. He also called for placing specific rules for representing the state president in court in order to stop that kind of “Hesba Lawsuits” filed by those non-concerned people, in the name of the general-good.     

 

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 at 3:57 pm and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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