Egypt: After documenting some 24 violations of press freedom and freedom of expression in August, Skyline calls on Egyptian authorities to reconsider restrictive policies
Stockholm - Skyline International for Human Rights is thoroughly concerned about the ongoing violations of freedom of opinion and press freedom in Egypt. These violations found expression in actions that indicate the authoritarian state's continued insistence on violating journalists' rights.
In a statement released today (Friday), Skyline condemns the shocking number of violations of press freedom and freedom of expression documented in Egypt in August. It calls on Egyptian authorities to comply with relevant international conventions and the country's human rights laws, which guarantee freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and full participation.
"Skyline" points out that in Egypt documented 24 cases of violations against the freedom of the media and journalists in August. These violations were wrapped in actions that indicate that the authoritarian state continues to insist on violating the rights of journalists.
According to the Arab Media Freedom Observatory's report, these violations “are not just temporary violations, but rather an authoritarian insistence on continuing these violations in a devastating manner, leading Egypt to further expand its negative position on the list of countries with press freedom violations, and a setback to the promises of the National Dialogue Council” regarding "press and media freedom,” and it stresses the need to “urgently correct this situation”
The Observatory reports in its latest monthly report on the state of press and media freedom that violations of journalists' detention have come to the fore again, as Karim Asaad, an independent journalist working for the “Mtsadeqesh” network, which deals with press control, was arrested before being released thanks to the intervention of the chairman of the Journalists Syndicate, journalist and writer Khaled Al-Balshi.
As documented, 44 male and female journalists are behind bars by the end of this month, including 12 members of the Journalists' Association and 5 female journalists: Manal Ajrama, Safaa Al-Korbiji, Hala Fahmy, Donia Samir, Alia Awad, and the last of them is Rania Al-Assal, who is imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.
According to the Arab Observatory for Media Freedom, “diplomatic missions have had difficulty advocating for the release of journalist Rania Al-Assal, who is still being held without charge in Saudi Arabia, despite the difficult humanitarian and family circumstances in which she finds herself”
Skyline reiterates that the unjustified figures and practices documented against freedom of the press and freedom of expression are an explicit violation of the legal provisions that guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of the press. It stresses that the competent international bodies must play their role in protecting journalists and the media that do their work.
Skyline concludes its statement by urging Egyptian authorities to halt ongoing attacks on journalists and freedom of expression, as well as act to free the arrested journalists. Skyline further urges a stop to repression of press freedom and restrictions on freedom of thought and expression, as well as Cairo's compliance with the articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Human Rights prohibiting restrictions on freedom of press and expression.