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Tightening the grip on press freedom?

Iman Seddiq

22 Jan 2013 5:36 pm

The National Front for Freeing the Media (NFFM) has issued a statement expressing extreme indignation at the referral of media persons and journalists to the prosecution on a variety of charges, according to claims made against them by Muslim Brotherhood (MB) lawyers, officials, or the presidency

The National Front for Freeing the Media (NFFM) has issued a statement expressing extreme indignation at the referral of media persons and journalists to the prosecution on a variety of charges, according to claims made against them by Muslim Brotherhood (MB) lawyers, officials, or the presidency.
The NFFM is tomorrow holding a demonstration in front of the Journalists’ Syndicate in Cairo, to which it has invited all who work in the media and the press to join. The aim is to denounce the “vicious attack” against the freedom of the media.  
The latest incident threatening freedom of expression, according to the NFFM, has been the recent referral of the journalist Ibrahim Eissa, who is famous for his vocal opposition to the Islamists and the Mursi regime, to the prosecution on charges of disdaining Islam. This is a flagrant application of hisbah, the NFFM said—hisbah being the Islamic doctrine of entitling the community to ensure that everything is in order within the laws of Allah. The NFFM pointed out that this would give rise to abuse of power where opponents would be prosecuted and penalised on false allegations.
The NFFM also condemned the prosecution of Mohamed Mustafa Shardi, the Editor-in-chief of al-Wafd newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Wafd liberal party, on charges of printing ‘inaccurate material’ relating to former Defence Minister Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. It pointed out that prosecuting a journalist on such a charge was highly irregular; the usual practice is to prosecute only in case an adequate correction is denied printing. 
Watani International
22 January 2013


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