World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Egypt: Intimidation And Assault On Journalists

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

AI Index: MDE 12/025/2005 7 June 2005

Egypt: Intimidation and assault on journalists and peaceful demonstrators must stop

Amnesty International expresses its support for the Egyptian NGO community in its continued call for freedom of expression and respect for human rights and the rule of law in Egypt, and calls on the authorities to investigate the recent allegations of physical and sexual assaults and to stop intimidation of the political opponents in the country.

Scores of demonstrators calling for the boycott of the referendum on constitutional reform were reportedly physically assaulted by supporters of the ruling political party, the National Democratic Party (NDP) on the day of the referendum on 25 May. Amongst those assaulted were women and journalists working for national newspapers, including Nawal ‘Ali, ‘Abeer al-‘Askary, Hany al-‘Asr, Iman Taha Kamel and Abdel Halim Qandil. Some of these assaults happened in front of the Journalists’ Syndicate Office and reportedly in the presence of security officers, who apparently did not interfere to protect those being assaulted.

This intimidation still continues. On 3 June, student of Arabic language at al-Azhar University, Muhammad Hassan Sayyid al-Sharqawi, was arrested in the centre of the Capital Cairo and taken to State Security Intelligence headquarter. He was detained allegedly because of articles he wrote on the internet. Muhammad al-Sharqawi was released later on the same day.

Amnesty International urges the Egyptian authorities to conduct immediate, full and independent investigations into the above assaults and bring those responsible to justice. It also reiterates its call for the authorities to repeal or review all legislations which unduly restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, contrary to Egypt’s obligations under international law.


In February 2005, President Hosni Mubarak put a proposal before parliament to amend Article 76 of the Egyptian Constitution in order to allow for multi-candidate presidential elections. While welcoming this, some political and human rights activists considered the proposal “insufficient” and demonstrated in favour of greater political reform and the lifting of the state of emergency. Some, including a number of opposition parties as well as the Muslim Brotherhood, also called for a boycott of the referendum. Thousands of the demonstrators, who were mostly supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, were arrested early last month, continuing a pattern which has seen previous mass arrests of Muslim Brothers at the time of presidential and parliamentary elections. According to official sources, the amendment of Article 76 of the Constitution was approved by more than 80 per cent of the votes cast.

Despite President Mubarak’s introduction in February of a bill abolishing prison terms for publishing offences, journalists continued to be imprisoned, fined for libel, threatened and beaten. The crews and journalists of international TV channels have also been stopped and detained for hours in apparent attempt to prevent them from reporting on demonstrations or referendum-related gatherings. The proposed bill is still under review after more than a year of its introduction.

NGOs also continue to operate under the restrictive NGO law introduced in June 2002. Under this law, NGOs had to apply to the Ministry of Social Affairs in order to officially register. Those whose applications were rejected and who continued to operate were liable to prosecution.

View all documents on Egypt


You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news