Journalists sentenced to two years in prison for defaming deputy premier

first_imgReporters Without Borders today deplored a two-year prison sentence passed yesterday on Ahmed Ezzedine of the weekly Al-Ousbou despite President Hosni Mubarak’s promise on 23 February to submit a bill to parliament that would end prison sentences for press offences.”We are dismayed by the severity of this sentence after President Mubarak announced that journalists would no longer be jailed,” the organisations said. “Ezzedine’s imprisonment, if it goes ahead, will mean that the reforms proclaimed on high have been dangerously put on hold. We ask the authorities to reconsider and suspend this verdict pending a vote in parliament.”Ezzedine was found guilty of defaming deputy prime minister and agriculture minister Youssef Wali by accusing him of “false testimony” in an article on 23 June 2003. Ezzedine was not summoned to attend the trial, which took place in his absence. Rumour has it that he has gone into hiding and will remain there until the criminal code reform bill has been submitted to Parliament and adopted. For the time being, he cannot appeal against yesterday’s conviction because, as it stands, the law requires immediate imprisonment even in the event of an appeal.An end to prison sentences for journalists under the criminal code was one of the sweeping changes announced by President Mubarak in an apparent bid to head off US plans to impose democratic reforms on the Middle East. He also claimed that Egypt enjoyed “total” press freedom in an interview for Le Monde on 21 April while on an official visit to Paris. News Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staff Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution February 1, 2021 Find out more Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison February 6, 2021 Find out more News Organisation Receive email alerts to go furthercenter_img News EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Egypt June 17, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalists sentenced to two years in prison for defaming deputy premier EgyptMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en News Help by sharing this information January 22, 2021 Find out morelast_img

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