A newspaper is confiscated and an Egyptian researcher is apprehended at Cairo airport while a French journalist is refused entry
Cairo, 26 September 2011
ANHRI condemns the return of the repressive practices of the former Egyptian regime following the revolution, in a worrying development of the decline of media and press freedoms. These practices followed declaring the ongoing validity of the emergency law by the Military Council, on the basis of the dissolved People’s Assembly decision in 2010, as well as adding new competencies to it such as “publishing false news”.
Amr Al-Shobaky is apprehended at the airport without any reasons
Amr Al-Shobaky, the famous writer, expert at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, head of Al-Bada’el forum and member of the Consultative Committee of Al-Adl party, was briefly detained yesterday evening by the security services at Cairo airport as he returned from Beirut, following his participation in the seminar of the Arab Anti-Corruption Organization. The authorities seized his passport for investigation, and released him afterwards without any logic explanation to this stringency with such a well known figure.
A French journalist is refused entry to Egypt for “harming Egypt’s reputation”
The Egyptian authorities also banned the French journalist Marie Edmee Josette Duboc from entering Egypt last Friday and deported her back to Paris. According to security sources, Duboc’s name was on the airport security’s list of persons denied entry into the country for harming Egypt’s reputation. Duboc is a laborers rights activist who resided in Egypt for three years in which she wrote a number of reports and researches on the laborers relations and the social movements in Egypt. It is worth noting that the prominent Lebanese blogger Emad Bazzi was as well refused entry to Egypt few weeks ago and was deported to Beirut following spending several hours in Cairo airport. Neither in this incident did the authorities explain what happened.
Confiscation of Sawt Al-Ummah newspaper
In an unprecedented incident post the revolution, the authorities seized Sawt Al-Ummah’s issue of 25 September 2011, the newspaper headed by Abdel-Halim Qandil, failing to explain any reasons for the confiscation. The authorities even denied being part of the incident, opening the door to speculations among the activists around this oppressive action. On the other hand, Qandil assured in press releases that the confiscated issue included an investigation report entitled “The scandal of Omar Suleiman’s Intelligence – Why does not General Murad Muwafi initiate a purge for Mubarak and Suleiman’s men” on the ninth page, noting that Muwafi is the current head of the Egyptian Intelligence.
Prior to this, Qandil received a call from Al-Ahram printing house which prints the newspaper, informing him that the issue had been seized and its copies had been shredded, conforming to the orders of an undisclosed sovereign body.
“Freedom of opinion and expression in Egypt is experiencing a serious turning point, especially with the insistence of the Military Council to enforce the emergency law and even expanding its competencies, regarded as a very worrying sign” Said ANHRI.
“Following a popular uprising that raised the slogan of freedom, it is contradictory that repression, confiscation and denying journalists and activists entry into Egypt without providing any reasons persist among the remnants of the practices of Mubarak’s regime” Added ANHRI.
Subsequently, ANHRI demands the Military Council and the Egyptian government to assure freedom of opinion and expression as an inalienable human right, by immediately ceasing the application of the flawed emergency law, and producing logic reasons for the oppressive practices that took place recently,