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Violations of media freedom in Egypt since beginning of Revolution

(EOHR/IFEX) - On the 15th of August, 2012, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights has released a report titled "Intellectual Terrorism and the Policy of Censorship." The report analyzes the status of media and
journalism freedoms over a period of time that extends from the Revolution of Janurary 25th, 2011 until the middle of August, 2012. Apart from the unfortunate identification of exemplary incidents of censorship and the stifling of media freedoms during this period, the report put forward a number of corrective suggestions.

In reporting on the incidents of violation against the freedom of expression, the report cites some 212 violations. These violations vary in nature and include, but are not limited to, 109 cases of assault on the persons of journalism and media professionals as well as bloggers. Also, 48 cases include the legal submission of official complaints against media professionals in such a fashion that they constitute a violation of their right to freedom of expression.

Moreover, there were 27 incidents of the submission of "Hisba" complaints against journalism and media professionals, restricting their freedom of expression by identifying their professional work as a "violation of social standards." Furthermore, the report cites 14 incidents of violations against freedom of the press and the right to public access of information. Gravely, the report also notes that the freedom of expression was brought before various courts, (especially military courts during the transitional period), at least 7 different times. Additionally, the report cites the occurrence of 7 incidents in which intellectual innovation and creativity were stifled.

In response to these occurrences, Mr. Hafez Abo Seada, President of EOHR, affirmed that these violations carried out against journalists and Egypt's various media institutes were absolutely incompatible with the nature of the current post-revolutionary environment. Mr. Abo Seada reiterated the importance of protecting and promoting the various human rights during this period and seeks to remind Egyptian President, Pr. Mohamad Morsi, of his pledge to preserve and maintain
freedom of expression.

Mr. Abo Seada also requests the immediate alteration of the authorities' adopted attitudes towards freedom of expression and the free exchange of information, especially in the post-revolutionary period. Mr. Abo Seada also demands that an end be put to the overall policy of censorship as an outdated state tool that has been left over from the era of a fallen regime. The implementations of this policy, that still include the storming of satellite television channels, the threat to revoke licenses, the forced closures of press outlets, the prosecution of activists and bloggers, and the outright attack on journalists, must all come to an end. Otherwise, this continued intellectual terrorism against all opposing views will drag Egyptian society back into an era in which violence was used to stifle intellectual expression.

Read the full press release

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