Attacks on press freedom in Egypt

Thursday, February 3, 2011
An injured opposition supporter is carried away during rioting with pro-Mubarak demonstrators near Tahir Square in Cairo. Photograph by Suhaib Salem
To: the staff and members of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) CJFE has been deeply concerned by the organized attacks and violence against the media in Egypt designed to cut Egyptians off from information vital to them during this time of conflict; knowing how incredibly difficult and dangerous this situation is for you we want to assure you that your colleagues in Canada stand with you in spirit and are ready to help in any way that we can. Best regards from the Board, staff and members of CJFE CJFE is greatly concerned by the attacks on journalists and press freedom in Egypt After days of peaceful protests, the Egyptian government and its supporters appear to be behind a plethora of seemingly coordinated attacks and arrests on journalists. These include: • CBC News cameraman Sylvain Castonguay was brutally attacked and beaten by pro Mubarek supporters on Feb. 2. His colleague Jean-Francois Lepine was finally able to get the soldiers to intervene to stop the attack on Castonguay. • Sonia Verma and Patrick Martin of the Globe and Mail were detained for three hours and then released on Feb. 3 • CBC Reporter Margaret Evans had audio equipment confiscated by Egyptian authorities • CTV News and Quebec-based television network TVA had television cameras confiscated • In addition, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, ABC News, CNN, France 2, France 24, Le Soir, the New York Times and the Washington Post have all been targeted, with journalists reported attacked or detained. Read CJFE's letter to Prime Minister Harper Read IFEX members' messages of support to free expression organisations in Egypt Read the IFEX joint action, visit the IFEX website Read our summary of press freedom violations on J Source. Access is an international non-profit dedicated to digital freedom. Access is asking that you sign its petition calling on Egypt's Internet service providers (ISPs) to keep the Internet open and to the mobile operators to maintain the mobile networks. Sign the petition here

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