“Egypt’s Imprisonment of Journalists at All-Time High: CPJ”
Reuters, June 25, 2015
“Egypt is holding the highest number of journalists behind bars since record keeping began, using the pretext of national security to crack down on press freedoms, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Thursday. A prison census conducted by the CPJ on June 1 found at least 18 Egyptian journalists were being held in jail for reasons related to their reporting, the most in Egypt since the CPJ began recording data on imprisoned journalists in 1990. … Khaled al-Balshy, the head of the freedoms committee of Egypt’s press syndicate, said the number of journalists imprisoned was higher, putting it at more than 30. ‘We are in the worst climate for journalism in Egypt’s history,’ he told Reuters. … The crackdown on press freedom, which other than imprisonment also includes heavy restrictions on journalists, has left entire regions ‘severely underreported,’ CPJ said. This has been most notably the case in the Sinai Peninsula, CPJ said, where the army is battling an insurgency that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi after mass protests against his rule in 2013. … ‘Journalism is over in the Sinai,’ CPJ quoted one North Sinai reporter, who declined to be named for security reasons. ‘The only reporting we can do is (to) tell the army’s story. Anything else is a prison wish.'”
Quickie analysis: There are no excuses for clamping down on journalism. Sadly, we’ve come to expect this sort of behavior from the Egyptian regime.