Government drags opposition journalists through the courts

first_img January 22, 2021 Find out more February 1, 2021 Find out more EgyptMiddle East – North Africa News Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution to go further Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison February 6, 2021 Find out more EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Receive email alerts Organisation Samir al-Sheshtawi is also behind a law suit filed for “publication of false rumours about the state of health of President Hosni Mubarak” against Ibrahim Issa, editor of the daily al-Dostur. This trial will open before the State Security court on 1st October 2007. News Help by sharing this information News Reporters Without Borders today condemned the hounding of opposition journalists by the Egyptian courts, in collusion with members of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).Three journalists on the daily al-Wafd were sentenced, on 24 September 2007, to two years in prison for “harming the reputation of the justice system” while a “defamation” suit was taken out by a party member against the editor of the daily al-Badeel.“The state of human rights and freedom of expression is becoming more and more critical in Egypt,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “There has been a flurry of trials of opposition journalists without them ever having any chance of defending themselves against a justice system which clearly leans towards the government. In just one month, no fewer than seven journalists have been dragged before the courts,” it added.The Cairo correctional court on 24 September 2007, sentenced in absentia Anwar al-Hawari, editor of the daily al-Wafd, along with two journalists, Mahmud Ghallab and Amir Othman to two years in prison for “harming the reputation of the justice system” and to a fine of 200 Egyptian pounds (25 euros). The three men also have to pay 5,000 pounds (630 euros) bail. Eleven lawyers, members of the NDP, laid complaints against the journalists after publication in January 2007 of an article, quoting controversial comments by the Justice Minister, Mamduh Marii, who said that 90% of Egyptian judges were not up to the job. The lawyers said the article damaged the standing of the judicial system of which they are a part.Moreover, the comments made by the judge hearing the case, Medhat Fawakeh, as he announced his verdict, are revealing of the closeness that exists between the judicial authorities and the government. “The court recognises that the press has never known such a degree of freedom as that which it enjoys under the authority of President Hosni Mubarak”, said Medhat Fawakeh. Elsewhere, on the eve of the case, the judges’ supreme council released a statement threatening legal proceedings against anyone daring to comment on the courts’ decisions. Several judges said that this warning was above all directed at the press. The three journalists have all decided to lodge appeals. In a similar case, lawyer Samir al-Sheshtawi, also a member of the NDP, made a complaint against the editor of the independent daily al-Badeel, Mohamed al-Sayed Sa’eed, for “defamation”. This followed publication, on 5 September 2007, of an editorial describing al-Sheshtawi as “a Mubarak-loving lawyer”. The first hearing in the case has been set for 17 October. RSF_en Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staff Follow the news on Egypt News September 27, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government drags opposition journalists through the courts last_img read more