Kalash and Balshi sentenced to one suspended year in Jail EOHR: Detention of Journalists is a threat to freedom of expression

March 26th, 2017 by Editor

Kalash and Balshi sentenced to one suspended year in Jail

EOHR: Detention of Journalists is a threat to freedom of expression

 A Cairo misdemeanor appeals court sentenced Yehia Kalash former president of the press syndicate, and members of the syndicate council Khaled Al Balshi and Gamal Abdelrahim to 1 suspended year in prison for harbouring 2 wanted journalist in the syndicate premises.

The chain of events started last May when police forces broke into the press syndicate to arrest Journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud Al Saka after they staged a sitin inside the syndicate building. Badr and Saka were protesting the planned transfer of sovriegnty of two red sea islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, and in response the state security prosecution agency ordered their arrest and charged them with inciting illegal protests.

EOHR respects the Egyptian Judicial system however we view with great concern the continued existence of laws that sanction freedom of expression as they contradict both Egypt’s constitution and international human rights obligations. EOHR also views prison sentences against journalists with considerable distress.

EOHR calls upon the Egyptian government to stop applying the criminal code to restrict freedom of expression, and freedom of the press in accordance with Egypt’s international obligations. EOHR also stresses that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are notions that are safeguarded and protected by the univesral declaration for human rights, and the international covenant on civil and political rights.

Hafez Abu Seada the president of EOHR said that freedom of expression is one of the core human rights, that is protected under international human rights law. Abu Seada added that the verdict against Kalash, Balshi and Abdelrahim is a great violation of human rights and freedom of expression, and demanded that these very notion be upheld and protected.

 

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