The undersigned organizations and parties express their solidarity and full support of the Supreme Commission launched by several editors in chief of national and private newspapers including those owned by political parties yesterday evening. The commission was created during a meeting organized to defend the freedom and independence of journalism in both private and state-owned media. In attendance were several private TV stations directors and syndicate members as well as well-known writers and members of the supreme council of journalism. This is a direct response to the attempts by the Freedom and Justice party to dominate public journalism institutions through the appointment of a new group of editors in chief for national newspapers using abusive and unprofessional standards which are seen as a continuation of the same restrictions and practices as those followed during the Mubarak era.
In addition, recent threats by the Minister of Investment to withdrawal broadcasting licenses from private television stations are a source of further concern to the undersigned organizations. According to the Minister these stations are accused of propagating rumors. These same accusations were used by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to justify surrounding and assaulting prominent journalists, who were critical of the Brotherhood or the President, at the Media Production City Yesterday.
The undersigned reiterate their support for the relative gains in freedoms attained after a long struggle that began prior to the Revolution, especially in the field of journalism and media. This struggle was bolstered by the courage of many journalists and media professionals throughout the revolution and beyond. The organizations affirm that the Shura Council must work on safeguarding these gains by acting on various legislative and non-legislative proposals that were presented by journalists and others in the media as well as advocacy organizations before the revolution. This is the only way to insure genuine reform within state-run media and press institutions, liberating them from the oppressive grip of executive power and intrusion from any ruling party.
The undersigned organizations are also quite alarmed by the very nature of the Shura Council’s recently announced choices for the positions of editors in chief. Unfortunately, the list includes journalists who have a shameful record of inciting of religious hatred, justifying the suppression of the freedom of expression as well as encouraging security crackdown of political protest before and after the revolution.
In this context, the undersigned organizations demand the immediate freeze of all new appointments of editors in chief by the Shura Council,.
The following link leads to the press statement by the Supreme Commission which includes the editors in chief of national, private and political party newspapers. Several directors of private television stations and syndicate members as well as renowned writers and leaders of the Supreme Council of the Press also took part in the meeting.
- Signatory Human Rights NGOs
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
- Egyptian Association for Economic and Social Rights
- Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
- The Human Rights Association for the Assistance of the Prisoners
- Egyptian Center for Women Rights
- Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights
- Hesham Mubarak Law Center
- New Woman Foundation
- Arab Penal Reform Organization
- Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
- Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies
- The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
- Land Center for Human Rights
- Egyptian foundation for Advancement of the Childhood Conditions
- Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression
- Appropriate Communications Techniques for Developments (ACT)
- Nazra for Feminist Studies.
- Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance
- Egyptians Against Religious Discrimination
- Habi Center for Environmental Rights
- The Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession
- United Group – Attorneys at Law, Legal Researchers and Human Rights Advocates
- Egyptian Democratic Academy
- Da’am Center for Information Technology
- Arab Foundation for Civil Society and Human Rights Support
- Egyptian Women for Change
- The Center for Trade Unions and Workers’ Services
- Arab Network for Human Rights Information
- Signatory Political Parties
1- Socialist Party of Egypt
2- The Egyptian Social Democratic Party
3- Socialist Popular Alliance Party
4- Masr Al Hurreya
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