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Tough measures used to gag media in run-up to parliamentary elections

(RSF/ IFEX) - 25 November 2010 - Reporters Without Borders condemns an increase in measures to control news and information and suppress freedom of expression in the run-up to the parliamentary elections scheduled for 28 November. The measures, including practices regarded as a thing of the past, constitute a major step backwards after the progress seen in recent years. We fear even more repression in the run-up to the presidential election due to be held next year.

Forced disappearance

Reporters Without Borders is very worried about what may have happened to Attia Mohamed Mahmoud Abu-l-Ela, a freelance journalist employed by the Al Jazeera bureau in Cairo, who covered the use of violence by police and supporters of the ruling National Democratic Party against opposition politicians and their supporters at an election rally in Al-Sharqeya province on 20 November.

Pursued by the police, Abu-l-Ela initially managed to get away but was arrested at his home in the village of El-Salam the following morning. No arrest order was shown by the police, who broke furniture while searching his home and confiscated journalistic equipment.

There has been no news of him since then. Reporters Without Borders calls for his immediate release.

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