Cairo: 22 April 2009

Press release
Judicial lawsuits to stop the launching of El Manar and El Hayat Satellite Channels

Since the establishment of the Human rights movement in Egypt in mid 1980s, it is confronting the lawsuits of confiscating the freedom of opinion, thought and invention as well as it is confronting the attempts of governmental institutions and others to threaten the existence of the freedom of opinion, thought and circulation of information.

Today, , Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (Moltaka) documents the attempts of some figures and bodies that are supposed to believe in civil works but they use the right to bring cases to judiciary in order to put restrictions on development and invention in Egypt. In this regard, there are now two judicial lawsuits filed by the lawyers, Mortada Mansour and Samir Sabri, to stop the launching of El Manar and El Hayat Satellite channels.

The Lawyer, Mortada Mansour, filed lawsuits no. 32440 of the judicial year no. 63 against the Minister of Mass Communication and Dr. El Sayed El Badawi, the owner of El Hayat Channel and the reporter Ahmed Shobeer and others. Mr. Mansour requested the cancellation of the permission of the launching of El Hayat channel in accordance with law no. 8 of 1997 and its executive regulation. The reason why Mr. Mortada filed this case was because he accused Mr. Shobeer of insulting him and criticizing him in Shobeer’s Sports Program launched by El Hayat Channel.

In addition, the lawyer, Samir Sabri , filed lawsuit no. 34834 of the judicial year no.63 against the Minister of Mass Communication requesting the cancellation of the launching of El Manar Channel because the channel criticized the Egyptian government during the last war on Gaza.

In this context, Mr. Said Abdel Hafes , the head of Moltaka , said that such lawsuits shall damage the international fame of Egypt in front of the International Community because such lawsuits violate the freedom of opinion, thinking and invention and the right to circulate information which are the basics of democratic societies. In addition, Mr. Said Abdel Hafez requested the necessity of reviewing the legislative framework which regulates such rights to prevent the filling of such lawsuits.

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