London, May 8, 2017
Arab Media Freedom Monitor “Ikshef” rejects and regrets Cairo Criminal Court sentencing 4 Egyptian journalists and media professionals today for five years in prison with labor for their professional work in what is known as “Rabaa Operations’ Chamber” case.
The journalists who were sentenced are Samhi Mostafa, Abdullah Al-Fakhrani of Rassd news network, Mohammed Adly of Amjad satellite channel and Yousuf Talaat from the Al-Shabab satellite channel.
The prosecutors had charged them of spreading false news disturbing public peace while covering Rabaa sit-in western Cairo about 4 years ago. This is in addition to some fabricated accusations, such as belonging to an illegal group; which are accusations the general prosecutors used to charge opponents of current regime of.
The court acquitted journalists and media professionals Hany Salahuddin, Ahmad Sebai, Walid Shalabi, Musaad Al-Barbari, Ahmed Abdul-Hafiz and Abdu Desouki.
The court issued its rulings in the cases where defendants had already filed appeals to the Court of Cassation, while some of the rulings of absentees have not yet been appealed.
Ikshef asserts that this sentence is lacking justice and its guarantees, as do many of the rulings issued since July 3, 2013 against opponents and critics of the regime.
Ikshef reminds that the current Egyptian constitution prohibits in article 71 the imprisonment in publishing cases, and it was expected to be applied to these journalists.