EOHR declares its solidarity with Al Fagr reporter and demands the abrogation of deprivation of freedom penalties in publication crimes

May 9th, 2017 by Editor

 

EOHR declares its solidarity with Al Fagr reporter and demands the abrogation of deprivation of freedom penalties in publication crimes

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) announces its solidarity with Journalist Tarek Gamal Hafez the head of the department of judicial affairs in Al Fagr weekly newspaper, and call upon the Egyptian government to uphold the international standards of human rights and freedom of expression.

.State security prosecution during a 15 hour long interrogation session on May 6th 2017  charged Mr. Hafez with accusations among them offending the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, spreading false news, abusing means of communication and threatening public security. The prosecution then released Mr. Hafez after paying a 5000 EGP bail.

These developments came after Tarek Hafez published the latest lists of the appointments of law school graduates and other applicants in the General Prosecution agency, and he revealed that Baher Taha Shehata a police officer who was involved in a notorious act of torture in November 2015 in the city of Luxor was among the appointees. It’s worth mentioning that this aforementioned incident resulted in the death of the victim (Tarek Shibib) due to the excessive torture who was subjected to. The officer was indeed removed from the list after what was revealed.

Mr. Mohamed Al Barmawi the legal advisor of the Al Fagr said that Mr. Hafez submitted evidence supporting the authenticity of his claims to the prosecution agecny, and the agency recognized its validity and in turn the Supreme Council of the Judiciary annuled the appointment of the officer.

With that said EOHR reaffirms that what Al Fagr did falls in the domain of freedom of expression and underlines its great dismay towards what it sees as a clear restrictions on these sacred rights that are enshrined by article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights

EOHR also believes that such violations demand the revision of Egypt’s legal structure and its reform in accordance to International Human Rights law.

Dr. Hafez Abu Seada the president of EOHR said that prosecuting journalists threatens freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Abu Seada added that what Mr. Tarek Hafez was merely exercising his professional duties, and his political and civil rights. Abu Seada also stressed the importance of legislative reform and the amendment of the criminal code so that the press and media can fulfill their duties and exercise their rights freely.

 

 

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