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Human rights defenders, journalists come together to form National Coalition for Media Freedom

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo April 9th, 2011 - A group of human rights organizations, activists, journalists, media professionals and bloggers made executive steps to create an institutional framework that reflects the aspirations of the January 25th revolution, called The National Coalition for Media Freedom.

The group agreed on the following objectives for the coalition: change the legislative, regulatory and cultural frameworks limiting media freedom in Egypt; guarantee the rights of society, readers and viewers to information and free expression through printed, audio-visual and electronic media; and consolidate the commitment to the values and ethics of professional practice.

The group has already begun to invite human rights organizations and professional and trade union activists working in the media to join the coalition, and participate in the founding meeting to be held later this month to announce the coalition and the start of its activities.

The initiators started forming specialized work groups assigned to specific projects and programs, in cooperation with international civil society organizations concerned with freedom of information as well as some volunteers. These projects will help achieve the immediate and core objectives of media freedom in Egypt and ensure media democracy. Groups will work on drafting constitution articles guaranteeing freedom of information, as well as undertaking projects and legal initiatives for the free flow of information, by reviewing the press law and other legislation governing media and trade unions. In addition, there will be studies on media professionalism and democracy and the experiences of transition to independent media in several countries.

The coalition will participate in an event on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, at the journalists' syndicate in collaboration with a number of syndicate committees and UNESCO. A distinguished selection of public, media and civil society figures will be attending the celebration. On May 3, the coalition will release the Declaration on Media Freedom which includes the vision of the coalition on various issues related to the liberation and development of the Egyptian media.

Coalition participants list (at present):

Human rights organizations
1 – The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
2 – Hisham Mubarak Law Center
3 – Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression
4 – Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
5 – Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence
6 – United Group

Activists, media staff, journalists and bloggers
1 – Ibrahim Mansour
2 – Bilal Fadl
3 – Hussein Abd elGhani
4 – Khaled Sergani
5 – Rajai Merghani
6 – Taher Abul Nasr
7 – Karem Yehia
8 – Mohammed Imran
9 – Nora Younis
10 – Yasser alZayat

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