Further Attacks on Press Freedom – Writer “Nader Al-Fergany” Banned From Writing at Al-Ahram [press release]

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) today condemned Al-Ahram newspaper’s inhibition of academic and journalist “Nader Al-Fergany” from resuming his articles in the newspaper.

Professor Nader Al-Fergany, chief of editorial team of the Arab Human Development Report sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), proclaimed last Sunday (May 25) that his articles were banned from being published by Al-Ahram newspaper. As said by the journalist, the ban was against the backdrop of his articles that criticize Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and the current regime. In one of his article titled “Field Marshal and the Revolution’s Orientations” that was published by Al-Ahram newspaper on March 24, Al-Fergany said that Al-Sisi’s speech looks like the speech of deposed President Hosni Mubarak. He added that Al-Sisi’s conception reflects deficiencies in visualizing development and the relationship between the ruler and his people. Such a point of view shows that Al-Sisi is not concerned with achieving social justice that the revolution aims to achieve, Al-Fergany stresses.

The last article of the journalist published by Al-Ahram newspaper is on May 19 and entitled “The Uncanny Silence about Egypt’s Stolen Money”, in which he criticizes the presidential candidates’ refraining from speaking about the Egyptian people’s stolen money abroad.

The ban of the journalist’s article occurred a day before the presidential elections kicked off in Egypt, when the Egyptian authorities are required to diffuse freedom of opinion and criticism if they are seriously willing to achieve democracy. Nevertheless, what has happened clearly indicates that freedoms in Egypt, following the installation of Egypt’s first president, will witness further abuse, harassment and repression.

ANHRI believes that ” Al-Fergany’s being banned from writing his article in Al-Ahram newspaper is part of the police state’s practices, which started to be intensely returned back more than they were in Mubarak’s era. The regime has adopted a different form of practicing restrictions on freedoms with the same old methods followed by the previous dictator presidents.

ANHRI call upon the Egyptian authorities to halt the restrictions imposed on press freedoms, the confiscation of the dissidents’ opinions that are against the political regime. It also demands to discontinue invoking the country’s national security so as to target its opponents, and to respect freedom of expression.

Source : Arabic Network for Human Rights Information

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