Egypt Ranked 146 in 2007 International Freedom of Press
Egypt has been ranked 146 in the international index for the freedom of the press in 2007 in the annual report of Reporters Without Borders.
The report shows that independent newspapers have been sued several times. Also, the published reportages around violations committed by the police and using tortures in interrogations, that justice lacks independence, all these infuriated Egyptian authorities that tightened the grip on independent journalists. In spite of all harassments, the journalists made public their opposition to any possible transfer of power from president Hosni Mubarak t o his son Gamal Mubarak.
Commenting on this report, Abdul Halim Kandeel, a journalist facing a prison risk and editor-in-chief of Al-Karama newspaper, said that the political conditions in Egypt are so bad towards the freedom of the press. The relation between the press and politics is strong and the deterioration between the politics and the press is to primarily due to plans for a hereditary transfer of power. He said also that this deterioration is a key factor in tightening the grip on the press. As long as there is such a scenario, we will face more repression .
Kandeel points out that this strictness from authorities is due to the fact that we are to face a political crime. The crime take place in pitch darkness like what thieves do. Thus, the constitution was amended to be appropriate for this farce. He said also that mounting the crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood is a part of a plan for curbing political powers. After this, the turn comes on the press field, especially after the growth of a movement in the press that started to cross red lines making the president a daily or weekly item of criticism. This movement started individually then it became a public and wide phenomenon and the authorities tried to suppress this trend.
Kandeel said that in his case the judge didn”t issue a verdict except after Mrs. president Susan Mubarak pronounced this verdict on Al-Arabiya Channel when she said “send them to trial”, meaning arrest them, not a verdict.
Regarding his view about the future of the freedom of the press in Egypt , he said:” As long as this regime remains, we will continue this conflict”. He ruled out any near breakthrough in the type of the family rule as Egypt turned from the regime ruled by a single party to a regime ruled by a single family. This is worse because families are characterized by revenge.
Abdul Halim Kandeel believes that it is moving towards more clashes in politics and in the press. There is not press freedom and that the regime is facing a rebellion of journalist and that journalists are facing it without any protection and they know well that what they carry out is against the penal code concerning publication cases and article 179 criminalizes any one insulting the president.