Cairo: 22 April 2009

Press release
The court of appealing misdemeanors of Kasr El Neel is hearing today the appeal of the fist instance judgment of obliging El Masa’eya newspaper to pay a fine of 20000 L.E in a case of publishing.

On 22nd April 29, the court of appealing misdemeanors of Kasr El Neel will hear the appeal of the fist instance judgment of obliging El Masa’eya newspaper to pay a fine of 20000 L.E in a case of publishing. This first instance judgment was issued by the court of Misdemeanors of Kasr El Neel in its session dated 24th February 2009 in case no. 12034 of 2008. This decision obliged Mr. Fawzi Abdel Bari, the Secretary General of the Arab Union for the laborers of Oil, Mines and Chemicals and head of General of the Syndicate of workers in Oil, Hassan El Rashidi, the head of board of directors and editor-in-chief of El Masa’ya newspaper and Farouk Loka, an editor in the same newspaper to pay a fine of 10000 L.E from each one of them as well as they are requested to pay a sum of 5001 L.E as a temporary civil compensation. This case is filed by one of the citizens accusing them of libeling and slandering according to the articles of the Penal Code number 301/1, 303, 306, 307 and 308.

He said that El Masa’ya newspaper issued an article in its issue no.755 in page number 4 under the title “ The Arab Union for Oil accused El Gendi of stealing a land in Sphinxes” and this article accused Mr. Fawzi Abdel Bari of stealing a land owned by the Union without paying its rent which is 10 million Egyptian pounds.

In this regard, the journalistic Observer of Moltaka has documented since the beginning of this year and till now a number of 38 judicial cases and the number of journalists who are accused in such cases are 78 journalists. In addition, the Journalistic Observer monitored 10 cases of imposing administrative restrictions on the right to issue and own newspapers.

Moltaka confirms that the rate of cases monitored during the first four months of this year which are 38 cases affirm that the judicial and legal follow up of journalists are increasing and that Judiciary is hindering the freedom of journalism in Egypt.

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