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Newspaper forced to remove article critical of president

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) fiercely condemns officials from Al-Ahram Press for their refusal to print the latest edition of the opposition weekly "Sout al-Ummah," until its editor, Dr. Abdel Halim Kandil, had removed his article criticising the president and Egypt's stance on the crisis in Gaza.

"Sout al-Ummmah" was finally published on 5 January 2009 after the article was removed.

ANHRI warns that security monitoring has become a common practice at Al-Ahram Press. On previous occasions, the "Al-Badeel" newspaper was censored and, as a result, turned to the Al-Gomhoria printing house as an alternative.

Security personnel that illegally monitor the press objected to an article by Kandil, titled "Those Who Brought Egypt Disgrace." Al-Ahram Press, a mouthpiece for the Egyptian government, prints 75 percent of Egypt's newspapers on its premises.

Hamdy al-Assiouty, a consultant for ANHRI's legal support department for freedom of expression, said it is a tragedy that the Egyptian government stops demonstrations in support of Gaza and censors newspapers' reactions to these events. He added that it is the right of a journalist to constructively criticise the government.

For further information on the "Al-Badeel" case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/96461

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