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» 09.03.2010 - Egypt releases blogger facing military trial
» 09.12.2009 - Arab states slammed for using excessive force
» 04.03.2009 - Egyptian internet activists freed
» 02.02.2009 - Court overturns jail terms for 4 editors
» 18.11.2008 - Egyptian rights organisation rejects media blockade in trial
» 30.09.2008 - Rights activists condemn Egyptian editor conviction
» 26.03.2008 - Egypt's vocal editor jailed
» 04.01.2008 - 51 Egypt websites escape ban

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Protests against closure of Egyptian newspaper

afrol News, 11 July - 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."

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