Egypt regime hostile to media
From JOSEPH MEYTON in Cairo, Egypt
CAIRO, (CAJ News) – EGYPT, which is infamous for being one of the world’s worst violators of media rights, has come under criticism after a criminal court jailed a photographer for two years.
The arrest and prosecution of Ali Abdeen for “inciting illegal protests, obstructing traffic and publishing false news” is seen as part of a crackdown by the Egyptian government on critics.
Abdeen, a photographer with the news website, El-Fagr, was arrested in downtown Cairo on April 25 while attempting to cover protests against a government deal to hand control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
At least 33 journalists were detained on April 25, but most have been released but Abdeen has been convicted despite his employers presenting testimony to the court that he was on assignment, covering the protests for the website at the time of his arrest.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called Egyptian authorities to release Ali Abdeen immediately and to not contest his appeal.
“Egyptian authorities insist on punishing the press for merely reporting the news while denying, with a straight face, that journalism is the reason for these arrests,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator.
According to CPJ, Egypt, with 23 journalists behind bars, is the worst jailer of journalists worldwide after China.
– CAJ News
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