Egypt: Editor freed

Egyptian president issues new law

Topics: From the Wires, Islam Afifi, Muslim Brotherhood,

CAIRO (AP) — The editor of an independent Egyptian daily was released from jail late Thursday just hours after the country’s Islamist president issued a law that bans the imprisonment of journalists accused of media-related offenses.

The case against Islam Afifi has sparked an outcry from journalists and intellectuals who view the lawsuit as an attack on free speech similar to the types of legal maneuvering used by the former regime of authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in a last year’s popular uprising, to silence its opponents.

Afifi, who is the editor-in-chief of the el-Dustour newspaper owned by the leader of the opposition Wafd Party, has been charged with slandering the president and harming public interest with inflammatory articles. He had already been banned from traveling abroad.

A Cairo court on Thursday ordered Afifi to remain in jail pending trial in September. Hours after the court’s decision, President Mohammed Morsi issued a law that bans imprisoning journalists for media-related charges until court verdicts are handed down.

Afifi, who still faces trial, was photographed smiling and being greeted by newspaper staff after his release late Thursday.

The decree affecting those awaiting trial for offenses such as libel, defamation and slander is the first law Morsi has issued since assuming legislative powers earlier this month in the absence of a parliament, and following a decision to retire a cadre of generals with whom he had shared powers.

Morsi, who is a member of the Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood, became the country’s first freely elected civilian president in late June.

Since Morsi took office, el-Dustour has regularly published articles warning of alleged Brotherhood plots and conspiracies to turn Egypt into a fundamentalist Islamic state. It also promoted an anti-Brotherhood demonstration on Friday, initially calling for the torching of Brotherhood offices but later amending its call and instead urging protesters to hold peaceful rallies in Cairo.



The protests Friday against the Brotherhood were small, but seen as a significant test of how Morsi will respond to the opposition.

The case against Afifi is one of several lawsuits brought forward mainly by Islamists against journalists in Egypt, accusing them of inflammatory coverage and inciting the public against the Brotherhood.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists hailed the law issued by Morsi, but urged authorities to halt “an alarming rise in repression that has included newspaper confiscations, criminal prosecutions, and assaults against journalists.”

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>