Newsletter No 13 10 January 2006
News from the Media Scene:
Egyptian Journalists Union Wants to Accelerate Passing of New Press Law

The Egyptian Journalist Union has called for an urgent meeting between the Ministry of Justice, Mahmoud Abu Al Leil, and the Union’s chairman, Jalal Aref, to accelerate the passing of a new press law, the Egyptian daily Nahda Misr reported.

Delegations from both the Union and the Minister have held several meetings in the past months after president Mubarak promised at the end of 2004 to amend the 1996 press law and abolish prison sentences for press offences. Yahya Qalash, secretary of the Union, said the meeting should discuss those articles upon which no agreement has been reached.

He criticized the fact that such a meeting has been delayed until now, especially when an agreement has been reached over 75% of the law. According to the newspaper, items of discord are the definition of press crimes and the amount of fines to be imposed to journalists.