10 February 2013

Egypt: The Attorney General Has to Halt All the Arbitrary Investigations With Media-Professionals Due to Allegations of Promotion to Black Bloc

press release

Cairo — The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces today the persistent of the arbitrary investigations conducted by the public prosecution with number of media-professionals on the background of presenting and preparing some media-materials related to the phenomena of the Black-Bloc, as the attorney general issued a decision of arresting whoever affiliated to the group of the black-bloc which included criminalizing promoting or improving its image.

The public prosecution decided today to release the media-professional "Dina Abdulfatah", the anchor in Tahrir satellite channel and the editor-in-chief of her program Khairy Hussein on a bail of 5000 EGP to each one of them. They were investigated due to the report no. 1574 of 2013 (Cairo Petitions), which was filed by Khaled Abdulhady, the Secretary of the National Center for the Defending the Freedoms, in which he accused them of improving the image of the black-bloc through the talk show of "people's want", as it hosted members from the group. The investigation was conducted in the building of the high court by the counselor "Hassan Yassin", the chairman of the technical office and attorney general deputy. The defense asked for assigning an investigation judge to conduct the investigation in the report.

In the same context, the attorney general order to start a similar investigation in a report filed by the El-Sayed Hamed, the member of the freedom committee in the journalist syndicate against the media-professional "Wael El-Abrashi", in which he was accused of "promoting to a terrorist group" that harms the security of the country and inciting for sedition, who filed the report was subpoenaed to take depositions.

ANHRI said that "the public prosecution decision, in addition that it violates the law in relation with the order to arrest indefinite number of unknown persons, to be extended to include the scope of the criminalization to include general and indefinite definition such as promotion to ideas or improving an image of a group which represent in fact a deliberate terrorism to the media-professionals or intellectuals who deal with the public work. It is in fact a tool to harass some of them selectively to achieve political goals".

ANHRI added that "the Supreme Judicial Council must intervene to stop this farce which practically establishes what is similar to the inquisition in conscience and ideas which back to the middle-ages or similar to the inquisition committees congress in the reign of McCarthy, back to the middle-centuries, which are manifestation to repress the opinion and criminalize the media work. Moreover, it is an assault on the right to access to information that is not suitable to Egypt after January 25th revolution, as the unleashing the public freedom from the dictatorship and totalitarian authorities was among the its significant objectives.

ANHRI repeated its demand to the public prosecution to halt addressing Hisba cases which are brought by persons who have no personal interest and weren't personally harmed. As it opens the door for everyone who have a political purpose, aim to be under lights or gain personal fame. ANHRI asserts that the persistence of the public prosecution in accepting this type of reports which are clearly malicious, is unacceptable collusion.

ANHRI asks for the immediate suspension of the investigations in the reports filed against Dina Abdulfatah and Wael El-Ibrashi in addition to Khairy Hussien. It calls the the Supreme Judicial Council to quickly review the complaints filed in relation with the decision of the impugned lawfulness attorney general.

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