Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, May 04, 2007

Ambassador Ricciardone says there is freedom of speech in Egypt

United States Ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone claimed in a February interview on Egyptian television that there is freedom of speech in Egypt, according to a New York Sun editorial Thursday. The transcript of the interview is posted on the web site of the American embassy in Cairo, and the link is available through the article.

The Sun is highly critical of Ricciardone’s affirmation and denounces it by citing several passages from the State Department’s most recent human rights report. The report states that the Egyptian government’s “respect for human rights remained poor, and serious abuses continued in many areas.” These include severe restrictions on civil liberties and religious freedom. The reports also cites how little tolerance the government has for nonviolent demonstrations, as evidenced by various incidents in the past several years. In addition, the government controls all ground-based domestic television and radio stations and owns stocks in daily newspapers. Furthermore, a state of emergency has been in place in the country almost continuously since 1967.

The Sun advises Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is in Egypt this week for a regional conference on Iraq, “to recall Mr. Ricciardone and reassign him somewhere he can do less damage to American interests by distorting reality and freelancing in contradiction to administration policy.”

For full article, click here.


Post a Comment

<< Home