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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid