Issue No. 376
ANHRI condemns the claim to withdraw citizenship from an Egyptian citizen
ANHRI condemns the ongoing “political hesba” litigations (cases filed by private parties in the name of protecting state interests), that are filed by some individuals or some fame seeking lawyers. Such litigations proliferated under the former regime to restrain creativity and freedom of expression, or to compliment the State Security that controlled Egypt prior to the revolution. Due to the absence of clear articles and legal regulations to control the lawsuits brought by those who do not have legal standing, those offensive cases continued on the basis of the right to litigation.
The Administrative Court decided to consider the new arithmetic suit filed by a lawyer against the prime minister and the Minister of the Interior; for demanding the withdrawal of Omar Afifi‘s citizenship, a former Egyptian police officer residing in the USA, claiming that he is accused of high treason. The court decided to look through this lawsuit by the middle of November.
ANHRI affirms its refusal of such ongoing cases, which have become a means of resort to fame seekers, especially after the flawed ruling of stripping Morris Sadek, an Egyptian immigrant to the USA. ANHRI also affirms that the Egyptian citizenship is an inherent right that a citizen gains by default as long as its conditions are met. No one grants it to the Egyptians to take it away from them.
“The Egyptian authorities have to amend the set of laws to disallow this kind of cases that has been used to besiege freedom of expression and creativity.
There is a group of lawyers and individuals known for their obsession with fame; which uses such kind of lawsuits against any one who opposes their opinion, or as a favor to the State Security, even though they lack any legal standing or benefit” said ANHRI.
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United Arab Emirates
BLOGGER AND FOUR OTHER ACTIVISTS CONTINUE TO BOYCOTT TRIAL, VERDICT IN FIVE WEEKS
A verdict will not be issued until 27 November in the trial of the blogger Ahmed Mansoor and four other pro-democracy activists, a judge announced at yesterday’s hearing, which is to be the last in the trial before the verdict is handed down. The five activists, who were arrested in April, are to remain in detention until then.
Abdulhamid Al-Kumaiti, one of the defence lawyers, told Agence France-Presse yesterday he was optimistic about the outcome because no concrete evidence has been produced to support the charges of threatening state security, disturbing public order and insulting the vice president and Abu Dhabi’s crown prince.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the way the trial is being dragged out in order to keep the defendants in prison, and urges the judicial authorities to free them without delay and dismiss all the charges.
Reporters without Borders
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Together against the campaign stifling freedom of expression and press
Journalists for Human Rights condemns the systematic security attacks against freedom of expression and press, and all the exposed security measures that stifle freedom of expression and press. We will keep reminding that it is important to address these plans with full awareness, ongoing activity, and strong will.
The authorities continue their approach to ruin press work through the systematic attacks on the press, starting from the laws they impose on the profession to constrain freedoms and restrain free activity, and ending with targeting the activists and freedom of expression defenders, detention of journalists using the judiciary system as a security means to accomplish that, and finally through closures, confiscations, and hampering of the issuance of newspapers. Security services innovated new ways to attack the press and online forums, manifested in the so called Electronic Jihad Unit, which is a body affiliated with security networks specialized in systematic and accurate hacking. It enjoys substantial technical and financial potentials and started to be more active recently to besiege and attack the successful campaigns organized by the youth and students in the past few months.
The above information has been confirmed by the follow ups and information provided by activists and human rights defenders that are concerned with this side.
In addition to that, there are testimonies of ex-detainees and assassination survivors for their online activities, especially social networking websites.
Journalists for Human Rights
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ANHRI condemns the closure of an independent Iraqi broadcasting station
ANHRI condemns the targeting of media freedom by the Iraqi authorities and their attempts to control it and to gag media practitioners, and is thus worried over the ongoing decline of freedom of opinion and expression in Iraq.
On 25 October 2011, the Town Council of Qadisiya decided to shut off the independent radio station of Al-Sada and to ban the broadcasting of its programs, claiming that its music programming “contravene local ethics”.
It is worth noting that this was not the first time for this station to suffer such restrictions, as the governor had interfered once before to stop its broadcast early 2011. Following a series of negotiations last May, the station was still forced to pay 50 million Iraqi Dinars on annual basis in order to continue broadcasting.
“Such procedures by the Iraqi authorities are a clear violation of freedom of media and suggest an organized campaign that targets freedom of opinion and expression. We are disturbed by the use of vague and loose expressions, such as “contravention of local ethics” to justify restrictions on media” said ANHRI.
“The Iraqi authorities have to stop targeting freedom of media and to let each individual express his opinion the way he finds appropriate as long as it does not contravene the constitution and the law” added ANHRI.
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Yemeni Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedom condemns the detention of Murad Al-Gharati, director of Tamkin Foundation
The Yemeni Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedom condemns the detention of Murad Al-Gharati, a rights activist and director of Tamkin Foundation for Development by the Republican Guard forces on 26 October 2011.
Al-Gharati was detained after he was stopped in his card by soldiers of the Republican Guard inspection in Hedda street in Sanaa, on the grounds that he has booklets on the revolution of change in Yemen, claiming that these books with the title (A citizen’s guidelines to the civil state) include incitement against the regime of the country. He was then escorted to an office in Sabeen square after seizing all his belongings including his laptop, cell phones, and papers of his foundation.
An officer investigated him for four hours then released him.
The Yemeni Organization warned over what Al-Gharaty may encounter in the future, especially after receiving anonymous phone calls. It also warns over the organized and systematic campaign against rights activists by the Yemeni authorities, especially after the outbreak of the Yemeni uprising. The campaign includes abductions, illegal detentions, in addition to destroying the property of some institutions and organization on the grounds of their duty to protect the country. This campaign, however, is an entrenchment of ongoing human rights violations in Yemen.
The Yemeni Organization calls on all the international, domestic, and regional organizations to show solidarity against such ongoing practices that target the activists who are on top of the targeting of the authorities, and to work on exposing these practices as well as to stand by the side of the activist at this critical phase that Yemen in undergoing.
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ANHRI condemns the campaign against journalists and bloggers
ANHRI condemns today the organized campaign against freedom of opinion and expression, and the targeting of media professionals and bloggers in Syria. ANHRI also deplores the dire situation that freedoms has reached under an illegitimate regime that still holds on power and permits itself to shed the blood of its own rebellious people.
Most recently, Lina Ibrahim, a journalist at Tishreen newspaper, disappeared last week and her whereabouts remain unknown ever since. She was last time seen on her way out of home, and never returned. Moreover, Wael Youssef Abaza, a freelance correspondent, disappeared on 25 October in Damascus.
Only few days earlier, Hussein Gharir, a well known blogger, disappeared after leaving his house on 2 October. Gharir’s kidnapping details and whereabouts remain unknown. Prior to his his disappearance, he had written on his blog “Silence won’t help us anymore. We do not want a country where we get imprisoned for our speech. We want a country that embraces and welcomes speech”.
“The situation in Syria has become catastrophic. Murders of the protesters demanding the oust of the regime are ongoing Detentions are increasing day after day. Opinion makers are abducted to unknown destinations.”
“ The successive abductions of opinion makers is an organized campaign that targets at intimidating and repressing every opinion maker who thinks of opposing this illegitimate regime, which insists on violating freedom of opinion and expression. This autocratic regime works on confiscating any opposing opinion to its own” added ANHRI.
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MADA center issues warning of escalation of settler attacks on journalists
A group of stone throwing settlers attacked four Palestinian journalists covering the weekly Beit Omar march near Hebron city. Of the journalists, French Agency photographer Hazem Bader, European Agency photographer Abdelhafiz Hashlamoun, Palestine TV cameraman Hussam Abu Alan, and Palestine TV correspondent Fida’ Nasir, Bader sustained the most serious injuries after a large stone struck his head causing substantial bleeding.
Bader told MADA that he and his colleagues were covering the weekly demonstration when settlers began throwing large stones at the crowd.
Israeli Occupation Force personnel were witness to the attack but did not prevent the settlers from continuing and instead began also targeting the peaceful demonstrators with tear gas projectiles. During the confusion a large stone struck Bader, resulting in severe head contusions for which he had to receive medical treatment. Bader went to the nearby hospital and received five stitches.
Abdulhafiz Hashlamoun added: “During our coverage of the weekly march the settlers attacked us with stones, one hit my waist and caused bruising. Two of my other colleagues were also injured, Hussam Abu Allan was struck on his waist and Fina’ Nasir was hit on the leg, both were bruised.”
Yesterday’s events recalls the attack last week of an Al-Jazeera crew by stone throwing settlers, which left cameraman Majdi Al Safadi mild injuries.
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the new settlers attack against journalists warns of its dangerous, which is ongoing under protection of the IOF, which stand in direct contravention to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. MADA reiterates its demand that the international community intervene immediately to protect Palestinian journalists, whose lives are constantly threatened by Israeli occupation forces and settlers attacks.
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The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
ANHRI issued 8 press releases this week on the conditions of freedom in MENA
1 – ANHRI condemns the claim to withdraw citizenship from the Egyptian citizen Omar Afifi
2 – Syria: ANHRI condemns the campaign against journalists and bloggers
3 – Egypt Electionnaire launched
4 – ANHRI releases Wasla’s 34th issue
5 – ANHRI condemns the closure of an independent Iraqi broadcasting station
6 – Rights organizations refuse to attend nominal meetings
7 – In the footsteps of Mubarak: An activist detained to hide the reality of the massacre
8 – The Egyptian government and the American embassy sabotage the civil society
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