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EOHR condemns council's decision to close down newspaper

(EOHR/IFEX) - The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) denounces the decision made by the Supreme Council of Press to close down the "Al Balagh Al Gadid" newspaper. The decision is considered a clear violation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to exchange information. EOHR calls for the reversal of the decision as the complaint submitted against the newspaper is still pending investigations.

On 5 October 2009, the committee overseeing the printing of foreign newspapers decided to revoke the license of "Al Balagh Al Gadid", which is being published under a foreign license as a result of a complaint submitted to the Attorney General accusing the paper of fabricating false news to defame and blackmail some Egyptian artists.

EOHR recognizes the dangerous effects of rumors and false news as it is against all forms of defamation. However, it condemns any decision to close down any newspaper without a judicial decision according to Article 48 of the Egyptian Constitution and international conventions on human rights.

EOHR confirmed that such hasty decisions issued by administrative bodies violate the right to freedom of opinion and expression. It calls for the cancellation of all laws that restrict the right to issue newspapers as well as the abolition of monitoring foreign newspapers.

It confirms its full support for the demands of journalists' syndicates on the protection of journalists and the promotion of freedom of expression and human rights.
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