The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its deep concern regarding the recent detention of Journalist Mai Al Sabagh and photographer Ahmed Mostafa in Alexandria. Al Sabagh and Mostafa were arrested for making an investigative video report with a number of Tram inspectors near Masr train Station in Al Manshia district of Alexandria. The police arrested them and referred them to the prosecution and the prosecutor charged Al Sabagh and Mostafa of possessing recording equipment with the aim of spreading false news to undermine public security and the state, harm national interests and recording material without approval from the ministry of culture.
EOHR stresses that Mai Al Sabagh was exercising her duties and inalienable rights as a journalist and making a video report lies perfectly within her professional domain of Journalism therefore EOHR views her arrest as a blatant violation of the constitution and international human rights law, both of which protect and guarantee freedom of expression and the press.
EOHR calls upon the Ministry of Interior to quickly clarify circumstances surrounding the arrests and implores the Syndicate Of Journalists of document these violations and submit them to the government in order to create a mechanism between the Syndicate and the authorities to prevent the repetition of such incidents in the future.
Dr. Hafez Abu Seada the president of EOHR from his side reaffirmed that the constitution and international human rights treaties and conventions protect freedom of the press and freedom of expression, adding that these rights should not be violated or harassed.
Abu Seada also called upon the State to respect the rights of members of the press, because journalism is one of the podiums of free speech in any society and is considered a fourth branch of government in many respects as they are the channel through which the people can convey their wishes and demands to the authorities; and therefor Journalists should not be treated this way for doing their jobs.