Newsletter No 7 22 November 2005
Press Freedom Alerts:
Latest Press Freedom News From the Region

» In Egypt, press freedom organizations have called on the Egyptian authorities to carry out thorough and serious investigations after several journalists were harassed or assaulted by the security services or by masked armed groups since the opening of the first round of the legislative elections on 8 November, according to reports

Ahmad Mansour, reporter of Al Jazeera satellite channel in Cairo and presenter of the program “Bela Hudud” (Without borders), was reportedly beaten in front of his office on 9 November. After checking his identity, two men beat him, breaking his glasses and leaving him with a neck injury before fleeing. Mansour has been vocal in his criticism of the Egyptian head of state.

On 13 November, Heba al Qudsy, of the Arab-language daily Al Sharq al Awsat, was beaten up by a group of men while covering a demonstration in the suburbs of Cairo.

According to the same reports, Manar Khater, of the independent daily Al Masry Al Youm was prevented from covering incidents following voting irregularities while Dina Gamil, of the weekly Al Alam Al Yaum, was also prevented from attending the count in the same province. Crews working for BBC and Al Jazeera have also had trouble doing their job.

» In Yemen, journalist Nabil Subaie was reportedly assaulted by masked men in broad daylight on a main street of Sanaa on 12 November. The same reports said that aggressors escape in a car without a license plate. Subaie was treated at the hospital from his injuries.

Subaie, who is known for his critical position against the Yemeni government in various opposition newspapers, has expressed to the Arab Press Freedom Watch organization his surprise of not having any communication from the police about the investigation, since a police officer has said that aggressors had been arrested a couple of hours after the attack.

The assault on Subaie is the latest incident in a deteriorating press freedom environment in Yemen. Some of these attacks have allegedly been linked to Yemeni security forces. Once again, the Yemeni journalists’ union condemned the attack on Subaie and voiced concern about press freedom violations in Yemen since the start of the year.

Sources for the alerts:
Arab Press Freedom Watch (AFPW), London
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), New York
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Brussels, Belgium
International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), Canada
International Press Institute (IPI), Vienna, Austria
Reporters Without Borders (RSF), France