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EOHR calls for protection of media personnel

(EOHR/IFEX) - The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) is concerned after receiving news of death threats being sent via text messages to the mobile phones of a number media specialists in order to stop their campaigns against corruption. On December 13, 2011, Adel Hamouda, the editor-in-chief of "Al Fagr" newspaper, Magdi Al Gallad, the editor-in-chief of "Al Misry Al Youm", Amr Al Lithy, the presenter of the "90 Minutes" talk show, and Lamis Al Hadidi, the presenter of the "Hona Al Asima" talk show received the threatening text messages.

The media outlets and talk shows have covered many problematic and serious issues that represent obstacles to democratic transformation, including the wealth of the Mubarak family inside and outside of Egypt, corruption among Mubarak's assistants and supporters and practices involving torture at police stations, prisons and detention centers.

Hafez Abu Seada, the head of EOHR, highlighted the crucial role of media personnel after the Egyptian revolution in exposing corruption and following important issues, such as fairness, transparency and democratic transformation.

EOHR calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately investigate the threats and hold those responsible for them to account in order to achieve an atmosphere of freedom of expression. The Egyptian legislative structure is still in need of major amendments in order to embrace all aspects and principles of freedom of expression.

EOHR stresses the importance of confronting these types of threats in order to avoid returning to the oppressive situation under which media personnel operated before the revolution. In those times, many prominent media specialists were oppressed, including Hwaida Taha and Ahmed Mansour, from the Al Jazeera channel, Abdel Halim Kandil, editor-in-chief of the "Al Arabi Al Naseri" newspaper and journalist Hamdin Sabbahi.

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