The International Federation
of Journalists (IFJ) today welcomed the decision of the Court of Appeal in Cairo, Egypt
to remove jail sentences imposed on four editors who were prosecuted on the
charges of "harming the public interest" and called for their fines to be scrapped
"We welcome this Court's
decision which is the result of our colleagues' determination not to let an
unjust outcome stand," said Aidan White,
IFJ General Secretary. "They now deserve full exoneration by removal of the
fine as well."
According to media reports, the Appeal Court in Cairo on Saturday quashed the one year jail
sentence which had been handed in 2007 to Adel
Hammouda, Wael Ibrashi, Ibrahim Eissa and Abdel Halim Qandil, respectively
editors of the weekly al-Fagr, the weekly Sawt al-Umma, the daily al-Dustour and the weekly al-Karama.
journalists were prosecuted following articles published in their newspapers
which allegedly were critical of President Hosni Mubarak, top officials or the
President's son. In addition to one year jail term, they were also fined 20,000
Egyptian pounds (2557 euro) and paid 10,000 pounds (1278 euro) for conditional
release during their appeals.
The IFJ protested at the
sentence saying the "verdict appears to
signal that the Egyptian government is engaged in a dangerous crackdown on
freedom of the press."
The organization says that there is no justification for the fine which
was confirmed by the Appeal Court's
"The fine can longer stand,"
added White. "Now that the jail term as the principal basis for it has been
removed, the fine serves no purpose other than as a stain to the journalists'
For more information contact the IFJ at
+32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over
600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide