Ikshef Report on Violations Against Media Freedom in Egypt in September 2017

Ikshef Report on Violations Against Media Freedom in Egypt in September 2017


pholding death penalty for 4 journalists and life sentence for 1
39 violations and closure of 20 sites and seizing 6 companies
93 prisoners and 6 cases of detention and forced disappearance

London – Issued October 5, 2017

September 2017 has witnessed many major violations against journalists, most notably the death sentences issued against 4 media professionals, the life sentence in absentia against another one, and upholding a one-year prison sentence against a sixth one, which brings us back to the atmosphere of the severe sentences issued in previous periods.

In September, blocking websites continued with more than 20 new websites, including Human Rights Watch, were blocked, as well as one of the world’s most important archiving sites, Web.Archive.com, and sites of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, and a site linked to Reporters Without Borders. This is in addition to 17 VPN and proxy sites, which allow anonymous browsing. This is as well as the confiscation of 6 media companies’ assets.

As for the total violations, September recorded 39 violations compared to 4 cases of release and 5 cases of communications and trials, and the details of are violations as follows:

September has witnessed 6 cases of detention and enforced disappearance. Journalist Ahmad Al-Sakhawi was detained on September 25th and is still being forcibly disappeared until the date of writing. Both Mohammad Al-Husseini and Angham Ghoneim of Al-Shura newspaper were also detained, as well as Ammar Al-Nesr who were working for BBC. Moreover, some journalists were detained during a tour of the Minister of Education and were released after a short time.

On the other hand, there were 4 cases of release in September, including Sara Mehana, journalist in Yanairgate website; poet Ghazi Sami, after the prosecution rejected his appeal; journalists Mahmoud Abdellah and Usama Tayea who were also acquitted of publishing false news and possessing and distributing leaflets.

As for prison violations, 4 cases were recorded in September, including journalist Hani Salahuddin, the editor of Youm7, who suffers from bladder tumors, his health deteriorated and was transferred to the university hospital in Beni Suef. He was not treated and were deported to Fayoum prison. This is in addition to Hisham Jaafar, who was assaulted during his return from a renewal hearing, which his family denounced, pointing to his poor health this is similar to the suffering of journalist Ahmed Zahran’s family, whose wife said she doesn’t not know his whereabouts for 33 days, especially as he suffers from difficult health conditions.

The violations did not stop at this point, but Mohammed Al-Babli the head of the interrogation in a Tora prison, led a security force and stormed a prison where there are 15 journalists. The prisoners were stripped of their clothes, all their personal belongings were confiscated like clothes, blankets and food. They were also beaten.

Also in September, 25 communications and trials were recorded, including 20 cases involving violations of the death penalty, life imprisonment, renewal of journalists and other violations.

The main feature of this section was upholding the death sentence on 4 journalists, Al-Jazeera’s Jordanian news producer Alaa Sablan in absentia, Ibrahim Mohammed Hilal (head of the news section of Al-Jazeera) in absentia, Ahmed Ali Abdo Afifi, a documentary filmmaker, in person, and Asmaa Mohammad Al-Khatib (correspondent for the Rassd news network) in absentia in the case known as Conspiracy with Qatar.

Sherif Mansour, presenter of Belmasri program on Watan satellite channel were sentenced to life in absentia, and placed under the supervision of the police for 5 years. This came as part of a series of life sentences issued in the case known as Al-Fateh Mosque. Moreover, there were several other decisions to postpone and renew the detention of several journalists, including Mahmoud Abu Zeid (aka Shawkan), Hisham Jaafar, Ahmed Zahran, Sabri Anwar, Hamdi Mokhtar Al-Zaaem, Mohammed Hassan and Osama Al-Beshbeshi.

This section also included another ruling against TV host Tawfiq Okasha for a year on charges of forging a doctorate certificate and also fines for the journalist Ahmed Al-Khatib and Mahmoud Mesallam.

As for prevention of coverage, there were 3 cases in which the pro-government Egypt Support Coalition prevented journalists from attending the voting process on amendments to its regulation. The other case was by organizers of El Gouna Film Festival who prevented journalists from attending the opening ceremony where journalists responded by boycotting the festival. The third case was by Governor of the El-Wadi El-Jadeed governorate, who issued instructions to prevent non-union journalists from filming the celebration of the National Day.

The seizure of 6 media companies, including Rassd News Network and 5 other media production companies, was recorded in September.

In September, there were 5 cases of publishing bans and blocking of websites and programs were recorded. This included the banning of Al-Bawaba News newspaper, and the blocking of 20 new websites, including Human Rights Watch and Journalists Against Torture, in addition to other cases.

As for prevention of writing in September, there was 1 case in Al-Ahram Al-Massai
newspaper where it banned an article by the writer Ismail Ibrahim that tackled the high prices.

Updated list of detained journalists in Egypt till Sep 30, 2017:
. Ibrahim Al-Dadrawi (Al-Qawmiya for distribution)
. Ibrahim Suleiman (5thTV channel – state TV)
. Ibrahim Samir (Freelance correspondent)
. Ibrahim Talha (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Ibrahim Abdul-Nabi Awwad (Rassd network)
. Ahmed Hamouda Al-Sakhawi (Tahya Misr newspaper)
. Ahmed Abdul-Monem Zahran (Al-Mukhtar Al-Islami magazine)
. Ahmed Maher Ali (Freelance correspondent)
. Ahmed Nasser (Freelance journalist)
. Ahmed Khamis Anwar Abdul-Qawi (Stringer for satellite TV channels
. Ahmed Khamis Mahmoud Kheder (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Ahmed Ali Ahmed Al-Najjar (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Ahmed Lashin (Freelance correspondent)
. Ahmed Muharram Abdul-Salam (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Osama Al-Beshbeshi (Baladi website)
. Osama Hashem Mohammed Hashem (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Osama Ezzuddin (Freelance correspondent)
. Islam Al-Banna (Freelance correspondent)
. Islam Gomaa (Freelance correspondent)
. Ismail Al-Iskandrani (Freelance journalist)
. Angham Ghoneim (Al-Shura newspaper)
. Badr Mohammed Badr (Al-Osra Al-Arabiya)
. Bakri Abdul-Aal (Al-Raya newspaper)
. Belal Abdullah Ahmad Abdul-Rahim (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Jamal Al-Alem (Freelance correspondent)
. Hassan Al-Qabbani (Al-Karama newspaper)
. Hussein Abdul-Halim (Al-Dostor)
. Hamdi Mokhtar Al-Zaaem (Al-Hayat)
. Khaled Hamdi (Freelance correspondent)
. Khaled Hamza (Managing editor of IkhwanWeb)
. Khaled Said (Freelance writer)
. Khaled Abdul-Rauf Sahlob (Freelance correspondent)
. Khaled Abdul-Aziz (Freelance correspondent)
. Khaled Mohammed Abdul-Rahman (Freelance correspondent)
. Reem Qotb Jabarah Basiyuni, (Independent film director)
. Sameh Mohammed Ahmed Bakri (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Samhi Mostafa (Rassd network)
. Said Abu Haj (Sinai Media Center)
. Sayed Musa (Amjad TV channel)
. Shadi Abdul-Hamid (Freelance correspondent, Al-Jazeera)
. Sabri Anwar (El-Badil newspaper)
. Suhaib Saad Al-Haddad (Freelance correspondent)
. Abdullah Rashad (Albawabhnews.com)
. Abdul-Rahman Hassan Abdul-Hafiz (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Abdul-Rahman Shahin (Freelance correspondent)
. Abdullah Al-Fakharani (Rassd network)
. Abdullah Jamal Moftah (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Abdullah Shousha (Freelance correspondent)
. Emad Abu Zaid (Al-Ahram)
. Ammar Al-Nesr who were working for BBC
. Ammar Samir Abdul-Ghani Ahmed (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Ammar Abdul Majid (Al-Hadath website)
. Omar Khedr (Rassd network)
. Omar Abdul-Maksoud (Masralarabia.com)
. Omar Mabrouk (Freelance journalist)
. Omar Mohamed Mabrouk Al-Sawi (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Amr Al-Khafif (Former director of broadcast engineering in ERTU)
. Karim Mostafa Al-Sayed (Al-Shabab TV channel)
. Magdi Ahmed Hussein (Editor of Al-Shaab Al-Jadeed)
. Mohsen Radi (Al-Daawa)
. Mohammed Ibrahim Sharaf (Al-Hayat Misr TV channel)
. Mohammed Ibrahim Shukri (Al-Omma TV channel)
. Mohammed Abossoul (Akhbar Al-Youm)
. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Shehata (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Mohammed Al-Jenidi (Freelance journalist)
. Mohammed Al-Husseini (Al-Shura newspaper)
. Mohammed Al-Saeed Al-Dashti (Al-Mashhad newspaper)
. Mohammed Al-Shaer (Freelance journalist)
. Mohammad Al-Adli (Amjad TV channel)
. Mohamed Hossamuddin Abdul-Halim Al-Kafrawi (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Mohammed Hassan (Al-Nabaa Al-Watani)
. Mohamed Salah Sowaidan (Freelance photographer)
. Mohammed Salah Sharara (Qatari Al-Watan)
. Mohammed Salah Madani (Misr 25 TV channel)
. Mohammed Ezzat (Ikhwan Online)
. Mohammed Farag (Freelance journalist)
. Mohammed Maamoun Abu Shousha (Ahrar 25 TV channel)
. Mohammed Mostafa Abdul-Nasser Abdul-Qadir (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Mahmoud Jamal Ali Othman (Stringer for satellite TV channels)
. Mahmoud Hussain (Al-Jazeera TV channel)
. Mahmoud Abu Zeid, (aka Shawkan) (Demotix photo agency)
. Mahmoud Abdul-Nabi Awwad (Freelance journalist)
. Mahmoud Mostafa Saad (Al-Nahar newspaper)
. Mahmoud Yahia (Al-Omma satellite channel)
. Hisham Jaafar (MADA)
. Wael Al-Heddini (Freelance correspondent)
. Walid Shalabi (Ikhwan Online)
. Yusuf Talat (Al-Sabab TV channel)