9 January 2013

Egypt: Gamal Fahmy Appears in the Prosecution General Office

press release

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses sorrow for referral of columnist Gamal Fahmy, Director of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate on Wednesday, 01/09/2013 to the public prosecution office for his statements mentioning that the death of Husseini Abu Deif, a journalist of Al Fagr Newspaper, came as a result of exposing the fact that the husband of President Morsy's sister was released under presidential pardons; The president's relative was sentenced in bribery case.

The Legal Office of the Egyptian Presidency has filed an official police report against the writer then he was referred to the prosecution general office for investigation later.

EOHR emphasizes unlimited support to the freedom of expression and creation and denounces taking thinkers to accountability for their thoughts, which represents a negative indicator to the future of the freedom of expression in Egypt. EOHR also calls for reorganizing the legislative structures in order to stop having this kind of decisions against the freedom of expression and placing rules for filing lawsuits, according to the international standards of human rights.

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, the head of (EOHR) emphasized on the importance of the freedom of expression according to the international standards of human rights. Such decisions represent threat to the freedom of expression after the Egyptian revolution. He also said that the increasing number of lawsuits filed against journalists and media specialists represents such a serious indicator to terrorizing journalists in Egypt in order not criticize the presidency in any journalistic writings, TV talk shows or media or even episodes.

Recently, 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.

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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