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Government's failure to shed light on editor's disappearance "deplorable", says CPJ report

(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a CPJ press release:

The Forgotten Man
A CPJ special report: An Egyptian editor disappears and no one can say why

New York, October 17, 2007 - Four years ago, a senior editor at Egypt's leading state-run daily vanished in central Cairo. In a special report, "The Forgotten Man," the Committee to Protect Journalists traces the last known movements of editor Reda Helal, who disappeared on his way home from a routine workday at the prominent daily Al-Ahram. Some Egyptian journalists believe Helal was a victim of an "enforced disappearance" undertaken by domestic or foreign security agents, CPJ's Joel Campagna writes.

The report's release coincides with an Egyptian government crackdown on the press that has included a flurry of prosecutions and convictions of outspoken journalists. CPJ has designated Egypt as one of the world's worst backsliders on press freedom, citing an increase in the number of attacks on the press over the past five years - including Helal's disappearance.

"It is inconceivable that a journalist can simply vanish in the center of Cairo in broad daylight and for the authorities to say they have no clues," CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. "The Egyptian government's failure to shed light on this alarming disappearance, or even to release its findings after four years, is deplorable. We call on Egyptian officials, including President Mubarak, to provide answers."

CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.cpj.org

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