Freedom of Expression in a Week Issue #641

(19 -25 October 2017)



Waad Al Kateab Wins “Rory Peck” Award for Photojournalism

Syrian camerawoman Waad Al Kateab on Monday, October 23, won the British award “Rory Peck”, which is internationally recognized, and given to the best freelance camera operators. Al Kateab was given this award for capturing the harrowing story inside a hospital in Aleppo in the wake of  a devastating bombing. The judges said the videos captured by Al Kateab significantly show the “atrocities of wars”, and they added that “we saw it 5 times at least, and every time our eyes shed tears, it is a typical part of journalism”.  The video, which aired by the channels of “Channel 4” and “ITN”,  is for a child in shock sitting silent and covered with dust, meanwhile a woman was trying to calm him down.

Reporters Killed in Suicide Bombing by ISIS in Al-Hasakah

Both of “Delishan Ibish” and “Hogir Faisal Muhamad” were killed in a bomb attack by the Islamic state (ISIS) that was targeting a group of the displaced in Deir Ezzor, south of Al-Hasaka. The two bombs injured dozens of civilians, in addition to the 3 reports who were wounded during their coverage of the arrival of thousands of the displaced people from the areas under the control of “ISIS” in Deir Ezzor to the areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces “Qusd” in Al-Hasaka.

For further news about the freedom of expression in Syria click here:



Badil Website Declares its Suspension owing to Financial Siege  

Badil Website, on October 21, declared its suspension because of the financial crisis they went through since the arrest of its head, Hamid Mahdaouy, last July.

Hesham Al-Omrani, member of the editorial board, in a video, announced that the website would be suspended as of Sunday, October 22, because of the hard financial situation they went through since the arrest of its director. This is because the “siege” imposed on the website by the advertisers, as well as the editorial line this independent website is adopting.

Noteworthy, Hamid Mahdaouy, journalist and head of the website, was arrested on 20 July 2017, in Al Hoceima, before the march, which the countryside mobility activists organized to call for releasing detainees and meeting the economic and social demands needed, was started.

The Court of First Instance convicted Mahdaouy of “protesting in public place”, before the Appeal Court increased the verdict to one year. He is also facing the charges of “covering up a crime” in Casablanca.

For further news about the freedom of expression in Morocco click here:



Media Council Finishes Drafting a Bill on “Freedom of Information”

Supreme Media Council on Wednesday, October 25, has announced that a bill about “the freedom of information”, paving the way to its discussion before the People’s Assembly to take a decision about its issuance.

The draft bill includes 28 articles, and requires the competent authorities to identify a special administration to allow and disseminate information, but in a number of its articles it prohibits to disclose data and information related to national security.

Al-Sisi in Paris: Human rights Can not be Limited to Political Rights only

President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, in his answer to a question raised by a French journalist to the French President Emmanuel Macron about the state of human rights, said that “Human rights can not be limited to political rights only.”

He added, “Why you do not ask about the human rights in education, we do not have quality education, and their rights in treatment; we do not have good treatment in Egypt. Why you do not ask me about the right to work, housing, and real awareness. We do not have all that.”

Abdel-Aal: Whoever Says State of Emergency Breaches Constitution is Not Egyptian

Dr. Ali Abdel Aal, Head of the House of Representatives, attacked those who refused imposing the state of emergency, during the parliamentary session on Sunday October 22, saying: “Those whom I do not consider them as Egyptians, but lived all this time, hoarding money and safely living as fugitives and refusing any action to protect this country.”

He added that “The state of emergency is imposed according to constitutional procedures that are taken into consideration by the People’s Assembly. As for those who write in the constitution and the constitutional law, I call on all of them to read the Constitution and the books of constitutional law in all Egypt’s universities. Those who provoke confusion are not from us, this country is for its people, and whoever wants another homeland, goes wherever they want, good bye. “

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Activist Al-Saniya Bent Yeraha Allah Accuses Police of Stealing & Assaulting Her

The human rights defender “Al-Saniya Bent Yeraha Allah, a member of National Human Rights Council, has accused the police officers at Arafat police station no. 2, of stealing a sum of money from her purse, and attacking her when she was at the station to defend a victim.

The activist said that he headed for the police station as a human rights defender, after she had received a report stating that UNHCR had refused to give a wife, experienced a family attack, a medical report.

After arriving at the police station, she photographed the wife who was fainted due to the violence she experienced, particularly she is pregnant at her last months. That matter provoked the anger of policemen, who escorted her to a different room and seized her purse, and were absent for one hour for allegedly inspecting the purse, and cell phones. When she received her purse, she found a sum of money was stolen. When she asked the policemen about her money, she not only attacked her physically and verbally, but also they accused of her of breaching the law after she accused them of stealing her. Moreover, they refused to give her the medical report that proves their attack on her.

For further news about the freedom of expression in Mauritania click here:



EU Slams Freedom of Expression & Peaceful Assembly Files

In its annual report on human rights in the world in 2016, the European Union criticized the freedom of expression in Algeria, set out in the new Constitution, which was passed by the parliament on 7 February 2016.

The report stressed that the restriction on the right of assembly is still in force in Algeria, whereas the Algerian authorities insisted to prevent peaceful gatherings and demonstrations and rejected many of the requests received on the organization of meetings or demonstrations. Even the rallies that were held under the title of defending human rights were refused to be granted permits, and also the members of associations that tried to organize unauthorized gatherings were subjected to the siege by the security forces and their organizers were arrested.

The report pointed out that many of the Algerian associations, even the international ones, are still not accredited by the Algerian authorities, which hinder their activities and do not allow them to carry out their duties and normal activities.

It also stated that the authorities are cracking down on some media institutions by controlling advertisements, and not granting the necessary licenses to establish newspapers and television channels, along with arresting and punishing journalists and bloggers because of their stances and publications.

For further news about the freedom of expression in Algeria click here:



Editor-in-chief of Altayar Newspaper Released

The Sudanese authorities, on October 24, released the editor-in-chief of Altayar newspaper, Osman Merghani, after spending one day at Omdurman Prison; against the backdrop of publishing an article about the government’s corruption.

The Union of Journalists paid the fine, instead of Merghani, who confirmed the union paid the fine without informing him.

The Press Court in Khartoum, on October 23, ordered Osman Merghani, editor-in-chief of Altayar independant newspaper, to pay a SDG 10,000 fine or to be imprisoned for 6 months in case of not paying. The verdict was returned because of an article entitled “Comments on the President’s Interview”, which was written by Mohammed Zein Al-Abdeen and was published by Altayar newspaper in February 2012. Osman Merghani refused to pay the fine and chose the prison punishment; objecting to dealing with writers as thieves, and proving the violations committed against journalists.

For further news about the freedom of expression in Sudan click here:




Press Court Fines  Al-akhbar Newspaper

Press Court in Beirut, headed by Roks Rezq, on Tuesday 17 October 2017, issued two verdicts against “Al-akhbar” newspaper. The first fines Ibrahim Al-Amin, director,  and Ghassan Saud, who wrote the article, a sum of 3 million liras, and to oblige each of them to pay one thousand liras, over the case of the Lebanese Forces Party, represented by its president Dr. Samir Geagea against Beirut News Company, over the offence of “insulting, defaming and publishing false news and defamation” through the newspaper on 17 February 2012.

For further news about the freedom of expression in Lebanon click here:



Occupation Forces Close 3 Media Offices in the Occupied West Bank

The Israeli forces, on October 18, closed the offices of three companies providing media services to Palestinian, Arab and international media outlets, such as Palmedia, Transmedia and Ramsat, in the cities of Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Bethlehem, for six months. The closure came after storming their offices and confiscating their equipment, on the pretext that these companies “provide facilities and information services for satellite channels that incite against the State of Israel.”

For further news about the freedom of expression in Palestine click here:


Saudi Arabia

Son of Detained Cleric Arrested for Tweeting about his Father

The Saudi authorities arrested sheikh “Alabbas Hasan AlMaliky”, son of detained Saudi cleric “Hasan AlMaliky”, after publishing a tweet on Twitter about his father’s arrest.

The account of the prisoner of opinion, which monitors the Saudi opinion detainees on Twitter,  referred to the arrested “Alabbas AlMaliky,” in a tweet: “We were confirmed the arrest of Alabbas Hasan AlMaliky, after publishing tweets about the arrest of his father Hasan Farhan AlMaliky.”

For further news about the freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia click here:


Ebtesam Alsayegh Released Pending the Case
Bahraini authorities on Sunday, October 22, released the human rights defender, Ebtesam Alsayegh, who was responsible for monitoring and documenting at Al-Salam Organization for Democracy and Human RIghts. The authorities released her from the prison in Bahrain till her trial. Noteworthy, Alsayegh was arrested last July, and the Bahraini authorities accused her of conspiracy on the interest of the country,because of her activism.

For further news about the freedom of expression in Bahrain click here:

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