27 September 2011

Egypt: ANHRI Condemns the Ongoing Targeting of Freedom of Opinion and Expression

press release

Cairo — ANHRI condemned today preventing one paper of Rose Al-Youssef newspaper in today's issue from being printed, considering the incident a new setback from freedom of opinion and expression, joining the line in the record of the Military Council that pursues the same policies of the former regime in restricting media freedoms. It is worth noting that Rose Al-Youssef is the first national newspaper to be confiscated.

Ibrahim Kahlil, Chief Editor of the newspaper, explained in press statements that they were informed by the administration of Al-Ahram pressing house that they had to replace one of the papers of the issue, which included the second part of the investigation report on the Israeli spy in Cairo. Following the publishing of the first part in Monday's issue, a sovereign body made orders to Al-Ahram pressing house not to publish any details on the case, which was uncovered by Rose Al-Youssef and exposed the first Israeli economic espionage network in Egypt in which Mubarak refused to arrest the spy.

It is worth noting that this is the second time following the revolution of 25 January in which a security party confiscates journalistic materials before printing. The first case being last Saturday 24 September, when the authorities seized the copies of Sawt Al-Ummah newspaper for containing a report on the corruption within the Egyptian Public Intelligence.

"The Military Council proves day after days that it is pursuing the same approach of the former regime by confiscating freedom of opinion and expression and restricting the media and denying it its role to enlighten the public opinion and expose corruption and its icons" said ANHRI.

"Media freedom in Egypt is experiencing a critical phase under the policy of the Military Council and the transitional government which have been gradually restricting freedom of expression, causing the gains of the Egyptian revolution to slowly shrink" added ANHRI.

ANHRI demanded the Military Council to stop security interventions in the work of the press and media and to go back on the negative decisions made in the past period, as well as to investigate the confiscation of both Sawt Al-Ummah and Rose Al-Youssef newspapers.

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