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ANHRI issues guide to legal defence for journalists and bloggers

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 14 June 2010 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) announced today that it has issued the second title in the series of simplified legal booklets in "The Guide in Publishing Cases" series for journalists, writers and bloggers. The booklet is titled "False News and Rumors".

The booklet was prepared by the Legal Aid Unit for Freedom of Expression at ANHRI, in the same small-size format and includes an extensive and streamlined legal overview of the dissemination of false news and rumors, all relevant legal material, and the severe punishment imposed by the penal code for this crime. The booklet includes the definition of news and when news is considered false, as well as what a rumour is, and when news and rumours are considered crimes, as set out in the law. It also includes how journalists and bloggers might defend themselves if accused of a crime, considering the range of penalties from a fine of 50 Egyptian pounds (approx. US$9) and imprisonment of six months to up to 15 years in some cases.

The booklet is a 40-page small-cut (9 cm - 12 cm) publication and comes in a question-and-answer format, with items such as "What should I say in prosecution interrogation?", "Do I have the right not to disclose my source of information?", and "Do the police have the right to search a journalist?", as well as other situations that the Legal Aid Unit for Freedom of Expression at ANHRI has made an effort to cover, especially when it is not possible for the journalist or blogger to call a specialized lawyer.

Hard copies of the second booklet are available at ANHRI for journalists and bloggers. It will also be available on ANHRI's web site and can be easily printed for all those who are interested.

Click here to see the first booklet: "Insult and Libel" (in Arabic only)
Click here to see the second booklet: "False News and Rumours" (in Arabic only)

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