In defense of freedom of opinion and expression, EOHR condemns the decision to withhold “El Mashhad”

March 24th, 2019 by Editor

In defense of freedom of opinion and expression, EOHR condemns the decision to withhold “El Mashhad”

The organization expresses its deepest concern and condemnation of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation’s decision to withhold the website of Al-Mashhad newspaper for 6 months and fining to 50,000 pounds, confirming that this violates one of the human rights that is guaranteed by international conventions and stipulated by the Constitution and the law.



This resolution is considered to be an implementation of the list of sanctions that was prepared by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.
The Supreme Council for Media Regulation, chaired by the press writer Makram Mohammed Ahmed, announced its decision No. 20 of 2019 to block the site of “El Mashhad”, on the recommendation of the monitoring and complaints committees, on the violations of the paper number and the website.
The Council said in a statement that the decision of blocking for 6 months, in addition to the newspaper’s levy of 50 thousand pounds, for what was committed as a denigration of a presenter and a number of artists, and publishing one of the pornographic images on its website, as well as insulting one of the artists and contempt of them which is a violation of public morals, professional codes of ethics, standards and norms.
The Council added that its decision came after reviewing Law No. 180 of 2018 on the regulation of the press and the media and the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, Presidential Decree No. 158 of 2017 on the formation of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation and the decision of the President of the Council No. 16 of 2019 to issue the list of sanctions and measures which shall be signed by the entities that are subject to the provisions of the Press and Information Regulation Law.
The organization asserts that blocking or confiscation and intimidation of the press and the media is a violation of international standards for freedom of opinion and expression, which are also guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution in Article 71, which states that “it is prohibited in any way to impose censorship or confiscate, suspend or shut down the newspapers and the Egyptian media.
Moreover, this resolution violates section two in article 19 of the International Convention on civil rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right includes the right to seek, receive and share information and ideas with others with no regard to borders, whether in written, printed or in a technical form or other means of his choice. “
The organization states that such measures aimed at freedom of opinion and expression are no longer feasible in the era of globalization and communications, and have no outcomes other than abusing human rights in Egypt. Additionally, the decision of blocking is in complete contradiction with the Egyptian Constitution and international conventions on human rights, as well as the violation of Egypt’s commitments to the International Council for Human Rights to work to safeguard the freedom of the press.
For his part, Dr Hafez Abu Saeda, the president of the organization, said that freedom of opinion and expression is one of the fundamental human rights.
He called for the need to stop such violations, which restrict freedoms and rights
that was guaranteed by the international human rights charters and stipulated in the constitution and the law. Furthermore, he stressed on the importance of freedom of opinion and expression because it’s not possible to promote any society that is unable to exercise its fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

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