• Reports
  • March 9, 2006
  • 2 minutes read

Former housing minister withdraws defamation complaint against journalists

March 6, 2006
Former housing minister withdraws defamation complaint against journalists
Reporters Without Borders notes the decision of the former housing minister, Mohamed Soliman to withdraw 37 defamation complaints that he had lodged against journalists.
This gesture is the result of mediation, undertaken by the information minister and the press council between the housing minister and President of the Egyptian Journalists’ Union, Galal Aref, representing the journalists named in the cases.
In a joint statement with the journalists’ union, issued on 3 March 2006, Mohammad Soliman said he was dropping all the complaints he had lodged before the courts and the prosecutor general.
He also stressed his “respect for President Hosni Mubarak’s initiative to abolish prison sentences in cases involving the press”.
Abdel Nasser al-Zuhairy, a journalist on the independent daily al-Masri Al Yom had been sentenced to one year in prison on 23 February 2006 on the basis of a defamation suit lodged by the former housing minister.
This sentence had prompted an outcry among Egyptian journalists who rallied on 3 March 2006, at the headquarters of the press union to support their colleague and to remind President Mubarak that he promised to counter press freedom violations.