His Excellency, Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary General of United Nations
On Saturday April 2nd, the world witnessed the judiciary in Egypt landing Walid Shalaby, the Egyptian journalist, a death penalty sentence while 15 other journalists were landed life imprisonment sentences. The bogus charge on which the judiciary based its decision was publishing pictures, videos and news about a popular sit in against the military coup d’état that took place on July 3rd, 2013.
It’s noteworthy that the said journalists didn’t commit any crime except doing their regular journalistic job which is covering news. In its reasoning, Egyptian authorities and judiciary tried to justify the shame verdicts by alleging that those convicts by doing their job as journalists had compromised the country’s national security.
In this context, it’s necessary to bring to your Excellency attention two points:
1) Article 71 of the working Egyptian constitution prohibitsimprisonment sentences against journalists based on practicing their profession.
2) The Egyptian authorities has long had the habit of faking criminal charges against independent journalist opposed to dictatorship such as joining illegal organizations, cutting off roads and arcsines which all go against logic.
We appeal to your Excellency to intervene with Egyptian government to eliminate and scrap all these bad verdicts and to see that a retrial be held before a new court constituency provided with all guarantees of fair trial. By appealing your Excellency, we recall the U.N charter which supports press freedom and freedom of expression andalso to fulfil article 19 on the world declaration of human rights.