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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More