CAIRO: The situation for the press has “worsened significantly” since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, and president-elect Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is in a “unique position to shape Egypt’s future,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday evening.
“While Egypt’s judiciary is constitutionally independent, we urge the president-elect to do everything in his power to make sure that these imprisoned journalists are set free and that no others are imprisoned under his tenure,” wrote Courtney C. Radsch the CPJ Advocacy Director on the CPJ website.
There are currently 16 journalists detained in Egypt now, according to the CPJ, including Peter Greste, an Australian correspondent for Al Jazeera, and Abdullah al-Shamy, who is on a hunger strike in protest of his detention.
The CPJ wrote a letter to the two presidential candidates before the elections, the letter included information saying that at least six journalists were killed and 16 under detention since ousting Morsi in 2013.
The EU Election Observer Mission said in their preliminary report issued May 29 “There was a general climate of limited freedom of expression, reportedly resulting also in self-censorship of journalists. The imprisonment of four Al Jazeera journalists and the detention of others without charge contributed to fear of a perceived decline in freedom of the media amongst journalists.”
Journalist Kareem al-Beheiry was detained in 6th of October City earlier in 2014 and released after 40 days. He published his story, and said he was detained and beaten after he covered a Muslim Brotherhood protest he had been assigned to cover by his newspaper, al-Badeel.
Egypt was ranked as the third deadliest country for journalists by the CPJ in a December 2013 report, following Iraq and Syria. Following the release of the report Al-Dostor Journalist Mayada Ashraf was killed while covering MB clashes in Ain Shams March 28, 2013.