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Reporter Without Borders
OPC Protests Egypt Press Abuses
The scale and ferocity of the attacks on Egyptian and foreign journalists in the last few days is unprecedented, even in these times when dictators and criminals around the world are attacking the press with seeming impunity.
The Mubarak agents and allies who have been beating and arresting journalists, stealing or wrecking their equipment, may have succeeded in blocking the transmission of some pictures, but they certainly have not succeeded in preventing the world from knowing what is happening in Egypt. They have only succeeded in blackening the reputation of an already notorious regime.
For years, the Freedom of the Press Committee of the Overseas Press Club of America (OPC) has been active and vocal in its criticisms of the Mubarak government’s hostility to free expression. The brutal methods that the Mubarak government has used in relative secrecy for decades to suppress freedom and democracy are now plainly visible to the whole world. The committee, like the other members of the OPC, some of whom are now operating under unconscionable restrictions in Egypt, is disgusted and outraged by these senseless actions of a dying regime.
Since 2007, we have written nine letters to President Mubarak protesting abuses of the press in Egypt. In the most recent letter, dated October 27, 2010, we deplored “the mounting efforts of your government to suppress freedom of the media in Egypt. As the parliamentary elections in November draw nearer, the attacks on the press seem to accelerate so that little room remains for criticism or even open discussion, which are fundamental to democratic elections.” We have never received an answer to any of these letters.