Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, April 28, 2008

Government crackdown on freedom of expression continues in Egypt

Egyptian authorities have intensified their crackdown on freedom of expression and freedom of the press, AllAfrica.com reported on April 23, citing a press release by the International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House (IFEX).

According to the article, security forces raided the offices of Cairo News Company, a prominent satellite equipment leasing company. This latest seizure can be added to a growing list of attacks against the press, which have included the banning of three other satellite television channels.

In a country once at the forefront of press freedom in the Middle East, “the Egyptian government is building a wall around Egyptian citizens and is imposing an information blackout on them,” says the Arabic Network of Human Rights Information.

Opponents of the crackdown say the fact that it has come amid soaring food prices and subsequent demonstrations is no surprise. In Egypt, the prosecution of journalists, activists, and bloggers is an all-too common response to legitimate public protests, they say.

“There were no legal grounds for these arrests,” Reporters Without Borders said in reference to arrests made after a protest in Mahalla el-Kubra on April 6. “The authorities do knot know who is behind the protest because it was launched on the Internet. So they are cracking down on anyone who may have issued the strike call, and bloggers are likely suspects.”

For the full article, click here.

For the IFEX press release, click here.


Post a Comment

<< Home