Media Centerpress statement

Friendly fires threaten the closure of El Mogaz newspaper, Mostafa El Bakri was able to get a judgment no. 11 against El Mogaz newspaper and against Yasser Barakat

October 2010

Friendly fires threaten the closure of El Mogaz newspaper

Mostafa El Bakri was able to get a judgment no. 11 against El Mogaz newspaper and against Yasser Barakat

FDHRD is concerned about the continuous judicial rulings issued against journalists because of their writings. Also, FDHRD is deeply concerned that such judicial rulings are due to internal conflicts and problems among the journalists group which led recently to the threatening of the closure of El Mogaz newspapers.

The last judgment was issued by the appeals felony court of El Omraneya court in its session dated 22 Sept in case number 16922 of 2008. The judgment obliged Barakat and El Mogaz newspaper to pay a fine of 20000 L.R because of what Yasser Barakat has published in El Mogaz newspaper under the title “ The fell down of the men of Darsh in Syria and stories of Bakri with the ministry of interiors from A to Z”

The conflict that took place between the editor-in-chief of El Osbo’o, Mr. Mostafa Bakri and editor-in-chief of El Mogaz newspaper, Mr. Yasser Barakat is considered one of the remarkable conflicts in 2010 as Mr. El Bakri filed 14 judicial cases against Mr. Yasser Barakat and against El Mogaz newspaper. In this regard, there were 11 judgments issued in cases files by Mr. Bakri against Mr. Barakat. Also, it is noted that the total fines that Mr. Barakat is required to pay in all cases files against him is 40000 Egyptian pounds in addition to a judgment issued on 24/6/2009 in case number 2453 of 2008 as Mr. Barakat received one year imprisonment sentence.

Mr. Barakat said in his statement to FDHRD that he is prevented from going to Saudi Arabia to do Omrah or Haj (it is the fifth pillar of Islam which is a pilgrimage to Mecca during the month of Dhu al-Hijja) because of the judgment of imprisonment issued against him. In addition, he added that the fine of 40000 L.E is a financial burden that his newspaper can not pay and it might end up that the newspaper will be closed and the employers will lose their jobs .

Moreover, Mr. Barakat apologized to Mr. El Bakri and they reconciled last November but Mr. El Bakri disregarded the reconciliation and he kept on taking the judicial way.

In this context, FDHRD urges journalists to be more tolerant against what is published against them. Also it calls journalists to use the civil way to be compensated against what is published against them as an alternative to the criminal judicial way which threatens the stability of the work of journalists as well as it can lead to the closure of newspapers which lead eventually to the loss of the employers’ jobs.

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