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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid