3 January 2013

Egypt: Freedom of Expression Under Accusation

Photo: Al Jazeera
Mohamed Mursi, Egypt's first elected President.

press release

On January 3, 2013, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) has issued a thematic report entitled" Freedom of Expression under Accusation". The report covers different important and urgent topics like the provisions of protecting journalists and media specialists according to the international standards, the situation of journalism and journalists after the Egyptian revolution, attack of media specialists, testimonies, recommendations etc.

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, the head of EOHR, stated that the Egyptian revolution called for freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and gave these freedoms high priority. The revolutionists called for turning media to an effective tool for expressing what people want, but the Egyptians found the opposite after the revolution; freedom of expression and freedom of media deteriorated. The revolutionists thought that Mubarak regime restricted the freedom of expression and the freedom of media among other freedoms and human rights, particularly direct and indirect censorship on newspapers and TV channels. Many talk shows were frozen after threatening the presenters, by Islamic groups. Some satellite channels were completely closed and the staff members of others were terrorized by Islamists.

EOHR concluded the report with a number of recommendations including:

- Calling upon president Morsi and the Egyptian government to take effective steps towards support of freedom of expression and freedom of media

- Taking legal actions aiming at protecting media specialists against oppression, murder or forcible detention etc.

- Amendment of the Egyptian legislatives related to freedom of media in order to guarantee transparency and independence

- Reconsidering the legal situation of the state newspapers and TV channels and declaration of the resources of their funds and announcing the editorial policies that should comply with the international standards related to freedom of media

- Giving Egyptian people, political; parties and syndicates the right to issue electronic and printed newspapers and magazines

- Abolishing the articles related to sending media specialist to prison in connection with publishing issues and fining them only

- Abolishing all the restrictions on freedom of access to public information

- Abolishing all the forms on media censorship

- Raising the social conditions of the media specialists

- Drafting a new law on freedom of access to public information

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