Friday, August 24, 2012

Egypt passes law banning pre-trial jail for journalists.....Hail to the Revolution!

CAIRO, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi on Thursday used the legislative powers he wrested back from the army this month to pass a law banning the pre-trial detention of journalists, a move that may deflect criticism of his handling of the media.

The announcement by the newly elected Islamist president came hours after a court ordered the pre-trial detention of Islam Afifi, the editor-in-chief of the Al-Dostour opposition newspaper, on charges of insulting the president.

Egypt's media crackdown has alarmed the United States, which has for years secured the loyalty of one of the Arab world's most influential states by giving it substantial financial aid, now running at about $1.55 billion a year.

"We did express concerns quite strongly that one of the cornerstones of a vibrant democracy is a free press and respect for freedom of expression and called on Egypt to ensure that it is protecting those freedoms moving forward," Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the State Department, told a news briefing on Thursday. Read More