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Egyptian editor Khaled Hamza prevented from travelling; Tunisian journalist Siham Bensedrine denied entry into Algeria

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) expressed its resolute condemnation of the hostile acts perpetrated by the security services in Egypt and Algeria against journalists. Egyptian security personnel prevented Khaled Hamza, editor of the IkhwanWeb website ( http://www.ikhwanweb.com ) from traveling, shortly after he had boarded a plane heading to England in order to receive medical treatment. Algerian security forces denied Siham Bensedrine, a Tunisian journalist and human rights activist, entry to Algeria to participate in monitoring media coverage during the elections scheduled for 9 April 2009. Bensedrine was visiting at the invitation of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights.

Preventing Khaled Hamza from traveling came without a legal justification or a judicial decision; it was an arbitrary decision by the Ministry of the Interior. Algerian authorities refusal to let Siham Bensedrine into the country confirms a previous decision: the journalist was turned back at the border in June 2008.

"Journalists and human rights activists are undesirables in this troubled region we call the Arab world. In spite of disagreements between Arab Interior Ministers on many issues, they all seem to agree on perpetrating hostile and obstructive acts against journalists and activists, and on denying them their right to movement or travel," said ANHRI.

"These abuses should not be concealed any longer in secret files. The policing and restrictions upon activists' and journalists' right to movement between different Arab countries needs to be exposed and this is precisely what we intend to do," ANHRI added.

For further information on the previous incident in which Bensedrine was denied entry to Algeria, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/94763

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