President Mubarak urged to keep promise he made three years ago

first_img News EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Egypt Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison RSF_en News Exactly three years ago, the newly-elected president of the Union of Egyptian Journalists, Galal Aref, made an important announcement: President Hosni Mubarak had just telephoned him and had formally undertaken to abolish prison sentences for journalists in connection with their work. In effect, he was promising a major overhaul of the laws concerning press offences.Three years later, nothing has changed. Journalists still risk being imprisoned despite the semblance of a reform last year.Article 48 of the Egyptian constitution guarantees press freedom. But in practice, a string of laws have turned respect for this principle into an exception. In addition to the legal provisions for sentencing journalists to prison terms, the state of emergency in force since Mubarak became president in 1981 means that anyone suspected of disturbing the peace can be held without charge for six months or even more in some cases.The Union of Egyptian Journalists had been campaigning for an overhaul of press legislation before the president’s promise. The union submitted a draft law to the People’s Assembly (the lower house of parliament) in December 2000, but nothing came of it. When Mubarak gave his promise on 23 February 2004, it was immediately seen as an opportunity for reviving a debate about creating legislation that really respected the work of the press.But despite the president’s promise, the situation of journalists did not improve. Many received prison sentences for press offences. Abdul-Nasser Al-Zohairy of the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, for example, was sentenced on appeal on 23 February 2006 to a year in prison for libel. His sentence was finally quashed on 3 March 2006 after negotiations between the union and the information ministry.The Union of Egyptian Journalists has tirelessly submitted and resubmitted its draft law during the past three years: in February 2004, then after the 2005 legislative elections, then three times in 2006 (in February, March and April). But the People’s Assembly has never examined the draft, which would abolish prison sentences for press offences in all the relevant laws, and would impose a ceiling for fines and damages so that they could not be used as a way to bankrupt a news organisation or journalist.On the other hand, the government submitted its own draft law to parliament on 19 June 2006. Far from meeting journalists’ expectations, the government’s bill took no account of the union’s proposals and even introduced a new offence punishable by imprisonment: insulting a person by accusing them of corruption. Corruption is a taboo subject in Egypt and the introduction of this offence would have effectively closed off any possibility of a serious journalistic investigation of the issue.The reaction from the Egyptian press and its allies was immediate and a major campaign ensued. Many journalists and human rights activists demonstrated outside the People’s Assembly on 9 July, while 24 newspapers and magazines went on strike and stopped publishing in protest.The offence of “accusation of corruption” was finally dropped from the draft law. In the end, only the criminal code was amended and other laws were left alone. While the possibility of prison sentences was suppressed for certain offences, in practice they were ones that had anyway ceased to be the subject of prosecutions.Thirty-five offences, including defamation and insulting President Mubarak or a foreign head of state, continue to be punishable by imprisonment. In the new law, the ceiling for certain fines has been doubled. In cases of very large fines, journalists can be imprisoned as debtors if they are not in a position to pay the fine immediately.Journalists are currently being prosecuted for articles they have written and are facing imprisonment. Ibrahim Issa, the editor of the weekly Al-Dustur, and Sahar Zaki, one of his journalists, have been sentenced to a year in prison and fines of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (1,400 euros) for insulting President Mubarak. They are currently awaiting a decision from the Cairo appeal court.Egyptian journalists working for foreign news media have not been spared. Howayda Taha of the Qatar-based satellite TV station Al-Jazeera is currently been prosecuted on a charge of “endangering the national interest and the country’s reputation” in connection with a documentary she was making about torture in Egyptian prisons. The trial is already under way, but the verdict will be handed down in her absence as she returned to Qatar after being released on bail on 14 January. February 21, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 President Mubarak urged to keep promise he made three years ago Help by sharing this information News EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Receive email alerts In February 2004, President Hosni Mubarak promised to change the laws and abolish prison sentences for journalists in connection with their work. Three years later, the hoped-for changes have still not materialised. February 6, 2021 Find out more Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staff to go further News February 1, 2021 Find out more January 22, 2021 Find out more Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution Organisation last_img read more

Form: Payment scheme for former British child migrants: make an appeal

first_imgDepartment of Health and Social Care6th Floor North39 Victoria StreetLondon SW1H 0EU The Child Migrants Trust processes applications for the payment scheme for former British child migrants.If you have made an application to the scheme, but feel that the decision reached was incorrect, you can appeal to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).To appeal, download and complete the application form, and send to DHSC using the contact details below.More information is contained in the guide to the appeals process. Email [email protected]center_img Former British child migrants payment schemelast_img

TTFA sacks head coach Dennis Lawrence

first_imgDENNIS Lawrence has been fired as head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago national senior team with immediate effect.A statement from the William Wallace-led Trinidad and Tobago Football Association on Sunday confirmed the sacking of the 45-year-old coach, who has been in charge of the national team since January 2017.According to reports coming out of Trinidad and Tobago, the TTFA’s board had a nine-hour meeting Saturday at the Ato Boldon Stadium. It was at that meeting that the decision was taken to relieve the coach of his duties.The TTFA’s statement said Lawrence’s representatives and the board will meet to determine the terms of his departure.Under Lawrence, Trinidad played 31 matches. They won five, drew seven and lost 19 for a win percentage of 16.13 per cent.In those matches, TT scored 36 goals while conceding 53.last_img read more

Reynolds she knows ‘for certain’ Glenwood staff concerns didn’t reach her office

first_imgDES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds says she fired the director of the state’s largest agency this summer, in part, because of the deaths of disabled patients at the Glenwood Resource Center.Reynolds has previously declined to discuss exactly why Jerry Foxhoven was dismissed, but Tuesday the governor indicated she grew frustrated with the data Foxhoven was giving her staff about the rate of patient deaths at Glenwood.“I can’t keep continuing to get these kind of reports. I don’t care if it’s a national average. I know it’s a frail population, but I believe we can do better,” Reynolds said. “…That was one of the many factors.”The U.S. Department of Justice notified the state in a November 21, 2019 letter that a federal investigation was being launched into patient care as well as allegations Glenwood patients were being used as human subjects in sex experiments. Some Glenwood staff had reported concerns to their superiors, but the governor said those reports never reached her office.“I first became aware of that when we received the letter from the DOJ and that is when we first learned that there were issues or that that was being done at Glenwood,” the governor said.Reynolds told reporters Tuesday her administration’s initial investigation soon found “nothing was being done” to address the allegations. Glenwood’s superintendent was placed on administrative leave December 9th  and fired 21 days later. However, the agency manager who approved the sex experiments on Glenwood patients was allowed to retire recently.“Part of that is doing the due diligence and going through the research,” Reynolds said when asked about that manager’s retirement, “and so we also have to make sure that we have adequate information when we make the decisions that we made.”The governor said it’s “absolutely fine” for legislators to investigate what has happened and ask new DHS director Kelly Garcia what steps are being taken to improve the Glenwood Resource Center.“If they have additional questions, she’s more than happy to sit down and walk them through that,” Reynolds said. “No problems whatsoever.”Reynolds indicated doctors from the University of Iowa are continuing to make trips to Glenwood to evaluate the health of the disabled patients, many of whom are being treated for serious illnesses. Reynolds said the director of the Department of Human Services is in the process of hiring one person who’ll be in charge of all the state-run institutions under DHS management. That would include the Glenwood Resource Center as well as the Woodward Resource Center, which is also under federal investigation for its care of disabled patients.Reynolds told reporters late this morning that she’s continuing to assemble a team of top managers, with the expectation they will communicate and collaborate with her staff.“When you don’t know what you don’t know, you’re kind of handcuffed on some of the changes that you can make,” Reynolds said.Reynolds said she knows “for certain” no one on Glenwood’s staff notified her office of their concerns about Glenwood patients.last_img read more

Reynolds eases limits as Iowa sees 12 new COVID-19 deaths

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa residents will be allowed to resume dental appointments as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds made more moves Wednesday to ease restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.Besides allowing dental procedures statewide, Reynolds also allowed public and private campgrounds to reopen, ended closure orders for tanning facilities and made clear that drive-in movie theaters were allowed to operate. The changes will be effective Friday morning.Reynolds signed her proclamation on a day when the state reported 12 new coronavirus deaths, bringing the state’s total to 219.The Iowa Department of Public Health also announced another 293 cases of COVID-19, the disease cause by the coronavirus. There have been 10,404 cases confirmed in the state out of more than 63,000 people tested, according to the state’s online coronavirus tracking dashboard.The increases were announced on the same day that Reynolds was in Washington to meet with President Donald Trump to discuss Iowa’s strategy to combat the spread of the virus and to thank the administration for federal help to that end.Reynolds also discussed Iowa’s response to outbreaks at some of the state’s meat processing plants, where employees often work shoulder-to-shoulder.On Tuesday, state officials announced that nearly 1,400 workers at three Tyson Foods pork processing plants in Iowa had tested positive for the virus.In her proclamation, Reynolds also reopened fitness centers, malls and other retail establishments effective Friday in 77 counties while maintaining restrictions in 22 counties, including most of the state’s urban areas. Businesses allowed to open must take measures to ensure social distancing, and retail establishments must ensure the number of customers doesn’t top 50% of the legal occupancy capacity.For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death.Click here to read the proclamationlast_img read more