- National and international human rights groups protest as the last issue of the Egyptian weekly newspaper 'El-Sadaa', of the El-Takaful political party, was banned from being issued.
The chairman of the Board and Secretary General of El-Takaful, Esam Abdel Razek, earlier this month was summoned to appear before security authorities and informed that there were security concerns over the editorial policies of the newspaper.
Also, authorities had security concerns over the newspaper's editor-in-chief, Yasser Barakat. 'El-Sadaa' has only appeared 19 times since its launch in February without incident.
The last issue of 'El-Sadaa' was however banned from being issued on 2 July. The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR) was told by the editor-in-chief and the secretary general of the newspaper in a telephone call that this is the first time that the newspaper has faced such treatment by security bodies.
EOHR earlier this week issued a press release, protesting the authorities' banning of 'El-Sadaa'. The Cairo-based group reaffirmed its stance "against any interference by administrative and security bodies in the affairs of media agencies and political parties, and calls upon the Egyptian authorities to investigate this incident".
According to the EOHR statement, the group considered such forms of interference to be "a blatant violation of freedom of the press and the right to freedom of opinion and expression."
Today, also the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) published an open protest letter sent to Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, expressing its "serious concern at the closure of the newspaper 'El-Sadaa'."
- We respectfully remind you that the banning of El-Sadaa is a clear breach of the right to freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by numerous international conventions, WAN President Seok Hyun Hong told President Mubarak.
- We respectfully call on you to ensure that in future El-Sadaa is permitted to publish free from state interference, WAN added. "We ask that you do everything possible to ensure that your country fully respects international standards of freedom of expression."
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.