Sign up for weekly updates

Journalist arrested; bloggers' e-mail and YouTube accounts suspended

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF strongly condemns the arrest of journalist Hossam el-Hendy at Helwan University, south of Cairo, as "an attempt to intimate all bloggers in Egypt" after officials there reported him to police for taking photos and sending messages about a demonstration on his mobile phone.

El-Hendy, 22, who works for the daily paper "Al-Dustour" and the website Eshreen ( ), was covering a 28 November 2007 protest that erupted when a speaker at a university conference on information technology said it was important to regulate online activity in Egypt.

The press freedom organisation also deplored the suspension, on 21 November, of the YouTube account of journalist and blogger Wael Abbas, who had posted scenes of police brutality. His Yahoo! e-mail account was also suspended on 29 November.

"Abbas is seen by the country's bloggers as a key figure who alerts Egyptians to acts of torture," RSF said. "If some of his clips are too shocking, YouTube can ask him to remove them, but suspending his account is excessive." Abbas has suggested a parallel event to the Cairo Film Festival that would award a "golden whip" to the video of the worst example of police torture.

Egypt is on the RSF list of "enemies of Internet freedom." One blogger, Kareem Amer, 22, is in prison for posting material online and has become a symbol of repression towards the country's bloggers (see IFEX alerts of 12 November, 13 April, 14 March, 22 February and 25 January 2007, and others).

Latest Tweet:

Malaysia: @CIJ_Malaysia is concerned over the use of the Sedition Act to arrest individuals for posting comments on…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.