News / Middle East

UN Denounces Egypt's Clampdown on Journalists

FILE - Mohammed Badr, a cameraman for Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr, shown in a Cairo court.
FILE - Mohammed Badr, a cameraman for Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr, shown in a Cairo court.
Lisa Schlein
— The U.N. Human Rights Office has denounced in the strongest terms Egypt's severe clampdown on news media, extending even to physical attacks against working journalists. The agency says government actions have hampered journalists in Egypt who are trying to do their jobs.

The Human Rights Office is calling for an independent investigation of  all reports of violence against journalists, saying the numerous reports are alarming.
 
It condemns violence aimed at journalists, especially incidents linked to police and other government forces. The U.N. office notes reporters trying to cover last weekend’s third anniversary of the Egyptian revolution were assaulted and injured, and others were detained by authorities.
 
The U.N. human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, says it is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous for journalists to carry out their work in Egypt.  He says the atmosphere has become even more threatening since Wednesday’s announcement that terrorism charges are being brought against 20 journalists.
 
Egypt's prosecutor-general has said he intends to prosecute 16 Egyptian nationals and four foreign journalists working for the al-Jazeera broadcast network. They face charges of aiding a terrorist group and harming the national interest.  Colville says this development is of great concern.
 
"These are people carrying cameras, not guns.  Cameras seek to illuminate what is happening, not silence information by what is happening.  So, it is extraordinary to find this being put into the kind of terrorist dialogue - that journalists are supporting terrorists.  This is really an alarming development and we hope it changes very quickly," said Colville.
 
Five al-Jazeera staff are in custody now. Colville says the satellite broadcaster's journalists have been systematically targeted since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July, and this has provoked widespread concern among all journalists working in Egypt. He says in a VOA interview, that working in such a constricting and threatening environment is deeply detrimental to freedom of expression and opinion.
 
"I think under these circumstances, self-censorship is unfortunately inévitable, and that is one of our main concerns in terms of freedom of expression.  It clearly is severely undermined when journalists are under this pressure and really fearing for their physical safety," he said.

Colville says journalists not connected to al-Jazeera have come under attack by government supporters who mistakenly link them to the Qatar-based network. He says his office has received numerous reports of intimidation of journalists, and that many have had their equipment seized.
 
The human-rights spokesman says there is mounting concern over journalists in détention reportedly being subjected to ill- treatment, or being held in conditions not in line with international human rights standards.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: thepoetpete from: Chicago
February 01, 2014 12:25 PM
Per the UN it is acceptable for the Government,aka the Generals, to murder its own citizens, but Journalists! That's totally out of line.


by: ali baba from: new york
January 31, 2014 12:18 PM
The united nation of human right does not know the motive of these journalist . They are working to Qatar Gov. which support Muslim brotherhood. Muslim brotherhood is a terrorist organization and want to destabilized the country by terrorist whom are involving in killing police officers.. these journalist are involving on vicious propaganda and arresting them and put them in trail is justifed

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid