Cairo: 30 June 2009

Press release
FDHRD has issued the mid year report on the situation of journalism during the first half of 2009

On Tuesday, 30th June 2009, FDHRD has issued its mid year report on the situation of journalism in Egypt during the first half of 2009. This report is considered a complementary report to the quarter report which has been issued last March.

This report contains 74 pages and it monitors the situation of journalism in Egypt for 6 months and it is divided into five sections as follows:

Section One: It includes the total number of cases monitored during the first six months of 2009. This section highlighted the number of cases monitored during the first six months of 2009 and it concluded some indicators related to the freedom of journalism:

- The number of cases monitored during the first six months of 2009 is 68 judicial cases against 17 newspapers.

This report monitors the filling of 68 cases against 17 Egyptian newspapers. 27 cases out of the 68 cases received final judgments as 17 case received acquittal judgments while two cases received 2 imprisonment sentences and 8 cases received fines. However, there are still 41 cases under hearings at the Egyptian courts. In this regard, El Mogez newspaper is the top newspaper among newspapers in having cases at courts as they have 9 cases at courts while Sout El Omah is the second top in having cases at courts as it has 7 case and El Fagr newspaper is the third newspaper as it has 5 cases.

- El Mogez newspaper is the top newspaper in being requested to be presented before judiciary.

El Mogez newspaper is the top newspaper in being requested to be presented before judiciary as 16% of the cases are filled against this newspaper while El Fagr newspaper and Sout El Omah is at the second top as 13% of the cases are filled against them. Then, Ros El Yousef newspaper is at the third top as 10% of the cases are filled against it.

- Politicians are the ones who file most of the cases against journalists:
The members of the parliaments filed a lot of cases against journalists in publishing cases during the first half of 2009 as 28.2% of the total numbers of cases monitored were filed by parliaments while 21.8% of the cases were filled by employers and citizens and 20.5% of the cases were filed by journalists and media personals against themselves. Then, 3.8% of the cases were filed by public figures and businessmen while 2.6% were filed by religious persons and 1.3% of the cases were filed by the Public Prosecution.

- Private newspapers are the top newspapers in having judicial cases against them:
The final indicators of the report indicated that private newspapers are the most Egyptian newspapers in having judicial cases against them in publication cases as the report monitors that there are cases filed against 10 private newspapers while the political parties' newspapers become at the second top as there are cases filed against 4 newspapers while there are case filed against 3 national newspapers only.

- Weekly newspapers have cases in the courts against them:
Weekly newspapers are on the first top in relation to number of cases filed against them as there are cases filed against 10 weekly newspapers with the percentage of 59% while there are cases filed against 7 daily newspapers with the percentage of 41%.

- Yassir Barakat is one of the Egyptian men who was called many times to be presented before the judiciary during the first half of 2009.

The report indicated that there are 69 journalists who are presented before the Egyptian judiciary and they were accused in 68 judicial cases during the period from 1st January till 31 June 2009. Yassir Barakat , the editor-in-chief of El Mogez is at the first top journalist who is requested to be presented before the law during the first half of 2009 as there were 11 cases filed against him while Adel Hamoda , the editor-in-chief of El Fagr newspaper as well as Essam Ismail Fahmy, the head of the board of directors of El Fagr are on the second top as there were 7 cases filed against them. Then, Mohamed Ali Ibrahim , the editor-in-chief of El Gomhoreya newspaper and Abdala Kamel , the editor-in-chief of Ros El Yousef newspaper are on the third top as there were 6 case filed against them.

- 330 thousand Egyptian pounds as fines and imprisonment sentences for 9 months:
It was observed that the number of imprisonment sentences was less than fines sentences as the percentage of imprisonment sentences in publication cases was 7.4% of the total cases while the percentage of fines was 29.6% as well as the percentage of acquitting sentences was 63% during the period from 1st January till 31 June 2009.

However, it is clear that the fines sentences were harsh as the total number of amount of fines received during the reporting period was 330 thousand L.E which is considered a burden on the freedom of press in Egypt.

The second section highlights all cases monitored by FDHRD. Some of these cases have been finalized and received sentences while other cases are still pending in the courts.

In addition, the second section covers the summoning of journalists before public prosecutions.

The third section of the report monitors the violation of the right to personal safety for journalists as it monitors 6 cases of assaults on journalists while they were practicing their professions as well as it monitors 3 cases of banning journalists from practicing their profession.

The fourth section approaches the problems facing Egyptian journalists nowadays. It monitors the problems of Al Ahram newspaper and El Badeel newspaper in addition to the problem of being registered in the Journalists Syndicate as the report monitors 16 judicial cases related to the registration in the syndicate. Furthermore, the report monitors the problem of the alternative of technology as it monitors three judicial cases in this regard.

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