24 February 2013

Egypt: The Authorities Ignore the Series of the Repeated Assaults On the Journalists Reveals a Systematic Policy Against the Independent Media

press release

Cairo — The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), said today that the authorities ignore to the repeated demands of the civil society organizations concerned with the freedom of the press and media to perform its natural role to address the repeated assaults on the journalists and media-professionals during covering the current events. It is an extension to general status of the clear hostile by the authorities against the independent media, which is not directly subject to the authorities will. This general status represented in the several violations conducted by the authorities inside the state-owned media in addition to it is represented in the speech of these authorities as it is expressed by several of the authorities representatives in different position in its way to the top of the authorities.

Recently, there has been escalation in the facts of which the journalists and media-professionals were deliberately assaulted physically or verbally by official employees, especially the individuals of the security bodies in addition to individuals who belong to different political trends. Several journalists and media-professionals deliberately prevented from performing their job or being totally banned from performing it. The selective prevention included specific media-foundations by the executive and representative bodies from media-covering the public events that can't be hide form the public opinion.

In the recent assault on the journalists, on Friday February 22, 2013, the two journalists "Mohamed Faheem Abdulghafar and Ahmed Marouf", youm7 journalists were verbally assaulted and received indecent signs by an officer who is assigned to protect and secure Etihadyia palace. The mentioned officer prevented them from performing their jobs, despite they asked for the authorizations after review thier identities and journalists cards.

In a different context, El-Waleed Abu-Ismaeel, a journalist in Watan news, Saturday February 23, 2013 who were was assaulted by the supporters of Shiekh Abu-Islam and the owner of Umma Satellite channel, when he tried to speak to the Shiekh, after he arrived to the high court to investigation and they tried to fire the journalist after they knew he work in Watan newspaper, who describes to hostile the God and his religion!

ANHRI said that "in these two situations the repeated assaults on the journalists and media-professionals, by the official employees and the authorities don't intervention in accordance with the law to conduct an investigation with the assailant and hold them in accountable, or the assault maybe conducted by security employees without intervention to perform their role in his capacity as a journalist, in a repeated inaction of all conditions to perform the perfrom its role, as the law provides, there is no way to ignore such inaction, which represents a policy that is adopted deliberately by the authorities and can't be taken away from the context of harassments on the freedom of the press which are exercised by the authorities that declare its clear hostile to the independent media, that subject to its control".

ANHRI added that authorities must put an end to such practices which create a climate of hostile to the independent media, which represent a deliberate assault on the right of the citizens to access to information through multi-means, that all of them shouldn't only express the view of the authorities. The authority must realized that harassment on the freedom of the press and media may led to escalate the political and social tension which back to the authorities practices of the authorities to reveal its non-obligation to neutrality and integrity".

ANHRI demands the relevant authorities to investigate the facts of the assault on the journalists and media-professionals according to the law in each condition and to prevent such assaults through the guarantee to hold them accountable in addition to punish them if required.

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