• August 23, 2014

Arab Monitor For Media Freedom Renews Calls to Release Journalists, Media Workers

Arab Monitor For Media Freedom Renews Calls to Release Journalists, Media Workers
The Arab Monitor For Media Freedom (AMMF) renewed its demands for the release of journalists detained or jailed after the July 3, 2013 military coup.

AMMF received several complaints from the families of some of the journalists imprisoned in Egypt. These complaints revealed that some of these media professionals are in need of urgent surgical operations, special medical care, or certain medications for illness that befell them inside filthy severely overcrowded unventilated cells, or for chronic diseases in older detainees.

Reports indicate that the journalist Hani Salah-Uddin, editorial director at Al-Youm Al-Sabie news website, is facing significant health risks requiring three urgent surgical operations.

Also, the journalist Mohsen Radi, Director of the legitimate parliamentary Media Committee – now detained in the notorious top-security Tora Prison, requested two surgical operations (at his own expense), but the prison administration never responded to his request.

The family of Mamdouh El-Wali, former Head of the Journalists’ Syndicate and former chairman of the board of Al-Ahram newspaper – also jailed in Tora Prison, complained of prison administration intransigence where they ban medicines and food being brought to him in prison, despite his need for medicines.

Meanwhile, Magdy Hussein, editor of Al-Shaab (The People) newspaper, suffers from a herniated disc that requires special care in the prison hospital, which he used to have in prison before the January 25 Revolution, but is denied that at present.

Furthermore, Ahmed Izz-Uddin, journalist and former director of Al-Shaab newspaper – who is over sixty years old, suffers from high blood pressure and narrowed arteries, while appropriate medicines are not available inside the prison. He only gets some, with great difficulty, from outside the prison in family visits.

Ibrahim Al-Darawi, journalist and political analyst, suffers chest illnesses and problems in the cartilage, which is also true in the case of Ahmed Subaie, journalist and director of the office of Al-Aqsa satellite TV station in Cairo.

Moreover, Khaled Abdel-Raouf Sahloub, young media worker in RASSD news network, is still suffering the effect of a fracture in his arm as a result of torture in prison, and needs special care until broken bones heal up.

AMMF calls upon the competent authorities in the prison service to speed the release of journalists and media professionals; and more urgently, transfer of ill detainees and prisoners to Qasr Al-Ainy hospital to receive treatment at their own expense until the completion of release proceedings.

AMMF also calls on the journalists’ syndicate – which has legal obligations and responsibility as a trade union for journalists – to intervene for their release so they can receive appropriate treatment in specialized hospitals.

In conclusion, AMMF calls on all organizations concerned with freedom of the press, both in Egypt and abroad, to pressure the military junta to release all journalists and media workers detained in Egyptian jails who currently number 67 detainees.