Today, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said that security bodies confiscated yesterday evening Wasla newspaper released by it from the printing house. They also detained the printing house’s worker and seized all the newspaper’s copies along with the printing supplies. In contravention of the Egyptian Constitution, security bodies precluded the lawyers to check the arrest warrant or to be informed with the details as well. However, one of the officers verbally told the lawyers that the accusation is “issuing a newspaper that calls for and incites to the downfall of the regime” alleging that the newspaper is issued by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Security bodies had stormed the printing house that prints Wasla newspaper, a non-periodical newspaper released by ANHRI four years ago. So far, ANHRI has released 72 issues of the newspaper. Thereafter, the security confiscated about 1,000 copies of the newspaper and the printing templates, besides it apprehended the printing house’s worker. When ANHRI’s lawyer went to Osim police station (affiliated to the Press), the police officers refused to show him the communique or to brief him about the details and the reasons behind the incident; despite of the clear Constitution’s provisions that oblige the police to verbally inform the detained person with the reasons of his detention and the inadmissibility of the confiscation of any printed source except by a valid warrant. Nevertheless, the lawyer knows that the charges are “printing a newspaper that calls for the overthrow of the regime, and inciting to the downfall of the regime, in addition to that, the newspaper is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood” !!
Noteworthy, Walsa newspaper aims at compiling some of the writings of the Internet journalists and the activists on social networking sites (facebook- blogs- twitter- forums), and publishing them on the printed newspaper. It is distributed among the older generations, who are not used to checking the Internet, for the purpose of learning about the opinions and writings of the young generations. The first issue of Wasla newspaper was released on April 1, 2010. It had been celebrated by writers and journalists, and the Egyptian TV itself created an episode about it at the beginning of its emergence.
Gamal Eid, the Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, said that “the crackdown on the civil society has started, and the new regime’s intentions have been demonstrated quickly than expected. It has been just a week since the new president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took the reins of power and the attack on the civil society emerges, besides announcing the new regime’ stance towards the civil society. Such an attack represents an indication to the fate of freedom of the press along with freedom of expression; through the confiscation of a newspaper and the fabrication of absurd and cynical accusations for an ironic allegation, which is belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood”.
“The investigation will be conducted today to find out the course of the case, and the official start of the crackdown campaign against the civil society and human rights organizations that the case constitutes . Whatever the decision of the Public Prosecution in this fabricated satirical case is, ANHRI will not halt its activity and determination on the implementation of the rule of law no matter what the price is”