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The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

Banning the printing of Cairo Times and Middle East Times

4 June, 1998

    The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights expresses (EOHR) its deep
concern about banning the publication of the English- language Cairo Times
and Middle East Times in the free zone on Tuesday 2 June 1998.

    Mr. Hisham Qasim, the publisher of Cairo Times, told EOHR that he had
received a notification form the head of the board of directors of the
print house that prints his journal saying that Mr. Ibrahim Fawzy, the head
of the investment authority, told him that this ban is based on 
instructions by the minister of information.

    The publisher then called the censorship office in the ministry of
information which told him that the decision made by the cabinet, allowing
banned journals to resume publication, does not involve Cairo Times because
it is "a political" publication. They also told him that the head of
censorship on foreign publications made this decision.

    The Officials in Middle East Times were not immediately available to
comment on this decision.

    It is worth mentioning that the head of the investment authority has
made the decision 175 (a) for the year 1998 last April, banning printing
newspapers and magazines published in all languages in the free zone. This
has led to banning the printing of 32 publications. In the middle of
May1998, the Prime Minister issued a decision canceling that previous
decision, allowing the newspapers and magazines to be published again. But
is seems that this decision did not prevent making new decisions banning
the above mentioned newspapers.

    EOHR considers the last  decision a continuation for the governmental
attack on the freedom of the press in Egypt. It appeals to the authorities
to revise this decision in a manner that guarantees the Freedom of
Expression as stated in the international conventions ratified by Egypt. It
also calls all the institutions of the civil society to consolidate against
this fierce attack on the freedom of press in Egypt.

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