A new victory for the repressive regime in Egypt: Freezing “Katib” website that works on freedom of expression 4 months after its launch

Cairo: 5 November 2018

Today the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) expresses its sorrow and acknowledges that the regime of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has succeeded in directing a new blow to freedom of expression and independent journalism, through its new anti-press laws and the so-called Supreme Council for Media Regulation. It also succeeded in forcing ANHRI and “Katib” website’s team to freeze its activities for an indefinite period starting today.

Despite being blocked after only 9 hours of its launch in late June 2018, “Katib” has gained considerable credibility; because it managed to overcome the glaring shortfall suffered by professional and independent journalism in Egypt, especially in its in-depth coverage of the situation of public freedoms, the rule of law and prisoners of conscience cases.

However, the passing of manifold of laws that curb freedom of information and impose an absolute power on all media outlets, in addition to the control of the so-called the Supreme Media Regulatory Council headed by Makram Mohamed Ahmed who is known for his hostility to all dissidents and independent journalism, has made “Katib” and its team find themselves squeezed between either paying large sums of money which neither Katib nor ANHRI can afford, and that wouldn’t even guarantee to lift the ban on the website or to continue their work while risking high fines, not to mention the shutting down of the website.

Therefore, ANHRI and Katib editors decided to freeze the website making its light go out and its voice stifled in a very silent and dark reality that clearly reflects the nature of the ruling regime in Egypt right now.

ANHRI, as it expresses its sorrow once again for the freezing of Katib website, undoubtedly states that its defense of freedom of expression and human rights will not stop as long as Egypt remains under the fire of police repression, and as long as it has the ability to provide legal assistance to prisoners of conscience, expose violations that are being covered up, or provide an initiative that will contribute to the restoration of democracy which was diminished with the arrival of the police regime to power in Egypt.

Katib’s launching statement and announcing its block 9 hours later

Outdoing Tunisia’s Ben Ali & KSA’s kingdom of darkness in their hostility towards freedom of expression: Sisi’s regime blocks Katib website after only 9 hours following its launch