Egyptian rights organization today filed a formal request with the Attorney General demanding an immediate investigation into the broadcasting of private telephone conversations by a TV talk show host. Earlier this week, the host, Abdel Raheem Ali, who presents a programme, called 'Black Box' on Al-Kahira Wal Nas TV channel, aired private telephone conversations of political activists Mohamed Adel and Ahmad Maher.
The organizations also asked for investigating Vodafone company, the operator of the phone service used by the two activists, to determine whether it conspired to record and leak these conversations.
"This is a violation of the sanctity of private life and an illegal act which returns us to the hateful practices of the Mubarak era and his State Security Police. It is also a crime under Egyptian law," the organizations said.
Under the Egyptian law, violation of privacy including eavesdropping or illegally recording or broadcasting conversation conducted privately or telephonically without the consent of those concerned is an offence punishable by imprisonment.
Mr. Ali announced that he has more private conversations to broadcast on the same TV channel "which goes to show his disregard for the law and ability to act as if he had impunity. The Attorney General's office has a major responsibility to ensure its credibility and impartiality regardless of the political affiliations of all parties involved."
Regardless of the content of these conversations and whether they have been manipulated, they have either been illegally recorded and then offenders must be brought to justice or they were conducted with a judicial permission, in which instance the officials who leaked it should be held accountable and punished, the organizations said.
Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR)
Hisham Mubarak Law Center
Al Haqanya Center