11 December 2012

Egypt: Urgent - Local Media Freedom and Media Under the Guillotine

press release

The Campaign of "Absolutely Civil" is following up with deep concern the attacks against media outlets and journalists since two weeks ago, and is still continuing so far.

The attacks have began with severe hatred campaign against all media outlets and extended to the accusation of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis, the government and the institution of the presidency as well of the press and media outlets of corruption, affiliation to the former regime, faking facts and causing crises to hit the country in order to intimidate journalists and influence their opinions that may hold criticism or opposition to the ruling regime.

This attacks have not ended with the assaults targeting the Journalist El-Husseini Abu Deif who has been shot while covering the events of El-Etahedia Palace on the fifth of December, or the attempt to shot the Journalist Mahmoud Azzouz, or targeting the Anchor Yusef Al-Husseini, or the closure of TV channels like: Al-Faraain and Dream, or the besiege of the Media Production City by supporters of former presidential candidate Hazem Abu Ismail and the threat to break into the City and the assault on media representatives. However, the siege continues and the threat exists, and freedom of media and journalists is under the siege of the political Islam militias.

Also, forms of terrorism and intimidation and interference have been extended to the State Television, where the media workers had a protest expressing their anger at restrictions on the work and the imposition on interviewing certain guests and the exclusion of others for their political disagreement with the government leading to the referral of many of those workers to interrogation because of their views and positions.

Within this context, the Campaign of "Absolutely Civil" stresses that freedom of information and media at the current moment is the freedom that can be invoked in determining the path of the revolution and the extent of the achievement of its objectives and goals, and that the continuation of the ruling parties and the Political Islam Movement of the siege and threat targeting journalists and media workers - indicates the tendency of these groups and the head of state to hide the twisted paths pursued by them and their willing to hide these paths from citizens on the way back to the re-production of the former regime, but in religious bases.

Media is the compass of freedom. There is no freedom and no democracy without free conscious media that is not fake or politicized. Beside, media freedom is guaranteed by International Conventions, in particular Article 19 of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, also guaranteed under the provisions of the Constitutional Declaration issued on 30 March 2011.

The Absolutely Civil Campaign denounces and condemns all forms of threats, violence and murders of journalists and demands human rights organizations, International civil society institutions and human rights organizations all over the world to condemn the sufferings of media and Egyptian Journalists and to address the President and the government to adopt the necessary measures to protect Egyptian media and press who are under risks because of the official interference or threats practiced by militias and groups who are affiliated to political parties with religious backgrounds and asks the government to form neutral fact-finding committees of specialists to stop the bleeding of innocent journalists and media workers.

Absolutely Civil Campaign is formed of 250 civil non-governmental Egyptian organizations and centers, associations and coalitions who are seeking to achieve the principle of equality, citizenship and respect for human rights

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