Tuesday 14th January 2020
The Dialogue Forum issues its report “Journalists under Pressure of lawsuits”, calling for awareness spreading about the role of press in the in the community, and amending the Press Syndicate Law.
Program of Freedom of Speech and Expression at Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) issues its report about freedom of press in Egypt, entitled “Journalists Under Pressure of lawsuits”- Press Freedom … between ignorance of laws and political mobility, in which it monitors judicial cases that have been initiated against journalists because of the lack of understanding press’ mission of in local Society over the past two years, 2018 and 2019.
The report monitored the presence of about 70 cases that the Egyptian courts considered, in which journalists were brought to trial for their work. Behind that, the report emphasized the continuation of the stable phenomenon of the Egyptian judiciary in its tolerance of press cases in Egypt, but the legal framework regulating freedom of the press in Egypt still needs to be modified and developing its legislative structure In light of the international pledges and agreements signed by Egypt. Such reforms may cut off those cases which are filed by those affected through publishing.
The report also monitored the presence of about 20 journalists in pretrial detention, and two convicted in non-press cases.
The monitoring report recommended the necessity to start implementing awareness-raising programs for workers in the field of journalism, and to transfer experiences of legal dealing with publishing issues within press institutions. Over all it recommended implementing programs to provide legal protection for journalists through networking with national media and press foundations.
Saeed Abdel Hafez, the forum’s president, called for providing specialized programs to educate journalists on the legal dimensions of journalistic writing, so that they do not fall victims to political trends within their institutions. Also, he stressed on the importance of implementing advocacy campaigns and gaining community support to raise awareness of the journalism’s importance and journalists’ role in facing corruption and the right to legitimate criticism. As well as, he called for advocacy campaigns to activate legislation that protected journalists from detention in accordance with the law.
The report deals with the crises which journalists were experienced because of the absence of modern legislation for the Journalists Syndicate. It explains the role of such legislation to be compatible with the times, facing the crises journalists are experiencing in their career. The legislation should seek to develop the performance of the profession in light of the surrounding social and political changes, or even to change its laws that are not appropriate to the developments of the profession. For example, the Syndicate Law still provides for the affiliation of its members to the Socialist Union which was abolished last century.