- ActivitesHuman Rights
- November 19, 2008
- 2 minutes read
Egypt: A third ruling upholds the decision to prohibit publicity
The legal unit for the freedom of expression utterly rejects the decision issued by the president of the criminal court in south Cairo at the trial session held today. This upheld the decision to ban any media presence or publication of any information at the trial of the people accused of murdering Lebanese artist Susan Tamim. All note taking is prohibited except for the minutes of the investigation and the publication of any final decision which may be made by the court at the end of the trial.
A decision to prohibit any publicity in this case was applied to all audio and visual media, and all newspapers, daily magazines, national and international daily and weekly publications. The significance of this case is the involvement of a prominent Egyptian businessman, who is related to the first family.
“The decision of the president of the court is a breach of the right to truth, and allows rumors to spread more freely,” said Rawda Ahmed, a lawyer at ANHRI”s legal unit for the freedom of expression. “This decision and similar ones and the news blackout imposed on this case are purely for political and personal reasons, particularly in view of the fact that the court did not put forwards any other reasons for reaching such a decision.”
At the end of last August the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre submitted an appeal against the original decision taken by the prosecutor general to prohibit any publicity in the case surrounding the murder of Suzan Tamim. This was based on the decision”s lack of compliance with the Egyptian constitution, the legal system and international conventions.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information demands that the Egyptian government should respect the freedom of the press and publishing, freedom of opinion and expression, that it should maintain transparency and fulfill its constitutional, legal and international commitments providing for the protection of these freedoms.