Egypt: president ends pre-trial detention of journalists

Egypt President Mohammed Morsi issued a new law on Aug. 23 that bans pre-trial detentions of journalists for speaking out against the government. The new law, the first decree Morsi has issued since he granted himself executive and legislative powers last week, ends the Mubarak-era practice of jailing journalists who commit so-called “publication offenses” which include “offending the president of the republic.” Morsi announced this new law in the wake of the arrest and detention of opposition newspaper editor Islam Afifi on charges of publishing false information about Morsi. Egyptian security officials confirmed that Afifi has been released from detention. Afifi, the editor of the newspaper El Dustour has been criticized by Islamists for allegedly making inflammatory statements against the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi issued the law just hours after a court in Cairo convicted Afifi, sparking outrage amongst activists calling for freedom of the press.

From Jurist, Aug. 24. Used with permission.