17 February 2013

Egypt: Hisham Qandil Must Provide Protection to the Journalists and the Media-Professionals During Performing Their Duty

press release

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the attacks on the journalists and media-professionals during media-covering the clashes and engagements, which took place in Cairo the day before yesterday, February 15, 2013. ANHRI holds the security bodies fully responsible regarding the role of the security entities in these attacks in addition to dereliction in providing the protection to the journalists.

It is worthy to note the journalists and media-professionals to the repeated attacks while they were performing their duties of media-covering the events in the streets. The repeated attacks became phenomena as in most of the cases the attacks target the journalist or the media-outlet in which he works in. The last Friday events witnessed number of these assaults; "Alaa Abdulbari", photographer in Nisf El-Donia Magazine of Al-Ahram foundation, was the most significant attack, as he had a cut in his lips after a central security solider threw a tear gas bomb, from a short distance of two meters, on toward him, which resulted in the destruction of the protective mask which he was wearing.

It is happened while he was doing his performing his duty of media-covering the clashes that broke-out between the protesters and central security forces in front of "Saray El-Qubah" palace. The forces use the tear gas bombs and Cartouche bullets which led to several injuries among the protesters.

On the other side, "Eman Helal", the photographer in Masry El-Youm, was harassed persistently in by the protesters who participated in the Friday of "Rejection of Violence" which was organized by Islamic trends that supports the president Mohamed Morsi. Eman was targeted because she was a woman and protesters tried to clash with her several times in order to make her get out of the demonstration due to allegations that she can't be among men! And at the end someone accused her of harassing him! Which used as pretext to make her get out of the demonstration.

ANHRI said that "the persistent disregarding by the authorities to such repeated attacks on the journalists and media-professionals in addition to the involvement of the security bodies in these attacks, in which the circumstances indicate sometimes that the attack are deliberated, are asserting on the authorities desire to intimidate the journalists to stop them from performing their roles in covering the different events, especially that witness clear violation by the security forces".

ANHRI added that "impeding the work of the journalist is an attack on the journalist and his profession in addition to an attack on the right of the public opinion to access to correct information in relation with the events of concern. Therefore, it is a waste to the right of the citizens to form an image that so near to reality in relation with the administrating the country, as he is a partner in this administration through the democratic process and impeding this right is in fact a destruction to one of the most important pillars of democratic regime".

ANHRI expresses it severe disturbance regarding targeting the female journalist as "it is a discrimination against woman, that could be added to other several indicators that could prove that there is an organized campaign to exclude woman from public and ban her from participating in it whether as an actor or observer by virtue of work and job. We can't separate the fact of harassing the female journalist from the mass sexual attacks, semi-organized, against who several females who participated in these demonstrations".

ANHRI called the ministry of interior to immediately investigate the attack on the photographer "Alaa Abulbarry" and called the government of "Qandil" to provide protection to the journalists and media-professionals during performing their duty of media-covering the various events.

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