Journalists Beware

journalism-for-bloggingThe public has a right to know what is happening in the world, both in their hometowns and neighboring cities as well as internationally. The fundamental way we are provided with this information is through the articles and news reports provided to us by journalists. In the 2014 draft of the Egyptian Constitution, Article 65 guarantees a freedom of thought and opinion. Furthermore, the Article states that, “Every person shall have the right to express his/ her opinion verbally, in writing, through imagery, or by any other means of expression and publication.”  However, in Egypt this right has not been so guaranteed.

Recently, journalists reporting the news have become targets to many different types of violence, which include: prosecution, being beaten, being fired and being arrested simply for doing their job. These individuals being attacked include three journalists from the well-known Arab media network, Al Jazeera. Those being arrested face different penalties, ranging from jail terms between 7-10 years.  These penalties are being passed out for charges such as harming national unity and social peace, spreading false reports, and being members of a terrorist organization. However, both the United Nations Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights have shown great concern towards these convictions, finding that they do not meet the standards of a fair trial, which can be harmful to the establishment of a stable system.

Since 2013 there has been at least six journalists who have been killed, allowing t he attacks against journalists to go on as if they are a normal practice. Egypt has gone through many changes these passed couple years, especially with its recent appointment of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who brings hope for a brighter future for the country.

Do you think these penalties go against the right to freedom of expression? What should the Egyptian government do to begin to resolve these problems?  Should the international world intervene?

Sources:

Egyptian Constitution

UN

Image:

Google

 

One comment

  1. These penalties imposed on journalists are certainly violation of their fundamental rights. Freedom of press is crucial for a country to preserve stable, strong, and continuing democracy. If there is no freedom of press in a society, that society is condemned to be under the control of a one-voice system. If multiple voices are not allowed, then it is harder than ever to claim that there is democracy in that society. What the Egyptian government has been doing is nothing but serious violation of basic human rights. Every journalist has the right to freely express his/her opinion about a particular subject or event. Journalists are valuable sources for the people of that society to learn what is going on in their country.
    The first thing the Egyptian government can do to resolve these problems is to stop prosecuting journals for simply doing their jobs. The government should start recovering what it has damaged. Then, the government should implement policies, rules, or regulations that could protect journalists from prosecution in such cases if repeats in the future.
    The international community should watch what the Egyptian government has been doing closely and what precautions it will take to protect journalists in the future. If deemed insufficient, the international community should intervene because freedom of speech and of press are crucial for any society in the world.

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