The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) is “deeply disturbed” by reports released by the presidency which the ANHRI calls “a mockery” against journalists.
ANHRI said journalists were simply exercising the natural right of criticising and evaluating policies and decisions made by President Mohamed Morsy.
The ANHRI statement was made in response to a complaint filed by the presidency against Press Syndicate board member Gamal Fahmy last Wednesday. The presidency accuses Fahmy of writing articles offensive to Morsy, and is the second such complaint filed by the presidency.
Fahmy stands accused of spreading false news that could harm national security which, according to ANHRI, is connected to a series of statements Fahmy had made connecting the death of cameraman and journalist El-Husseint Abu-Daief, who Fahmy said had been murdered for revealing the president had given a presidential pardon to Morsy’s brother-in-law, who had been jailed for bribery.
“The report filed against Fahmy is the latest episode in a series of reports against a number of media professionals, journalists and public figures such as Mahmoud Saad, Dr Manal Omar the psychiatrist, Ola El-Shafiy the journalist, Khaled Salah the editor-in-chief of Youm7 and Youssry El-Badry,” ANHRI said.
ANHRI said the reports amounted to “intellectual terrorism against whoever exercises his natural right to freedom of expression which includes, beyond the shadow of a doubt, criticising the policies and decisions of the president.” In addition to this the president’s mental and physical health, as well as his behaviour, should not be above criticism as he is in a position of authority that directly and indirectly affects the lives of millions of people and as such is always a public figure.
On Saturday, three April 6 activists faced a court hearing on charges of insulting the president. The trio are accused of defacing a poster of Morsy, which the defendants claimed was done before the constitutional referendum and was not in relation to the president.
To this effect the ANHRI also lashed out, calling on the public prosecution to drop all charges, considering the fact that the three activists were assaulted by members of the Freedom and Justice Party and held illegally in their Minya headquarters.