CJFE protests closure of 14 publications in Egypt

Wednesday, February 2, 2000

His Excellency Hosni Mubarak
President of the Republic of Egypt
Abedine Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 3901998

Your Excellency,

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression is concerned over the recent order by the Governor of Cairo to close the newsletter of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), along with 13 other newspapers and newsletters in the city that are slated for closure. CJFE is an independent organization which promotes freedom of expression worldwide according to the precepts of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

CJFE understands that this action contravenes the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the constitution of Egypt. It is also contrary to Article 19 which guarantees the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including the right "to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

The EOHR newsletter was created to notify members of the activities of the EOHR and to raise awareness of human rights issues. It has been published since 1986. The closure of EOHR's newsletter is a blatant attack on freedom of expression. This current action follows a restrictive law governing NGO's that came into effect in 1999.

With this recent action, your government has shown a disregard for freedom of expression and the constitution of Egypt. The independence and freedom of NGO's and the press must be maintained for them to uphold democracy. CJFE requests that the order to shutdown these 14 newspapers and newsletters be rescinded. We will be monitoring the situation in Egypt and will be alerting the international community accordingly.

Sincerely,

Sharmini Peries
CJFE Executive Director

Cc. His Excellency Hamdy Nada, Ambassador, Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, 454 Laurier Ave. East, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6R3, Canada, Fax: +613 234 9347

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