Last Update 14:38
Morsi ends preventive custody for journalists charged in 'press crimes'
In first show of new-found legislative authority, president issues law ending temporary detention for 'publication offences'; Al-Dostour's Islam Afify expected to be released imminently
Zeinab El Gundy, Thursday 23 Aug 2012
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Islam Afifi
Islam Afifi, the chief editor of el-Dostor newspaper, center, attends a court hearing in Giza. (Photo:AP)

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Thursday evening issued a new law cancelling the Mubarak-era practice of temporarily detaining journalists for so-called "publication offences," including the charge of "offending the president of the republic."

The move means that Al-Dostour Editor-in-Chief Islam Afify – recently detained on charges of publishing false information about Morsi – will be released imminently.

According to local media reports, Egypt's public prosecutor has already ordered Afifi's release.

Afify's detention had sparked considerably controversy among local politicians and journalists, who saw the practice as a violation of basic press freedoms reminiscent of the ousted Mubarak regime.

Angry reactions to his detention had quickly appeared on Twitter under the hashtag #لا لحبس الصحفيين, or "No to the imprisonment of journalists," with several political groups issuing statements condemning the move.

Local human rights organisations, meanwhile, such as the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, along with international organisations such as Reporters without Borders, had also condemned Afify's detention.

Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said Morsi's decision to abolish the practice of temporarily detaining reporters for press offences represented the president's first use of his legislative authority, which Morsi assumed earlier this month at the expense of Egypt's military.



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sawsan mostafa ali
24-08-2012 02:55pm
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WHAT 'S MORE IMPORTANT
What 's more important than ending preventive custody for journalists is to cancel the law that allows jailing journalists for saying their free opinion. We need the following: 1- Independent entity for the national journalism not following any authority. 2- Another independent entity consisted of experts in journalism and public characters to observe the journalism performance and any complaint can be submitted to it . ( Freedom and more freedom and independence are the only ways for our journalism to fulfill its very important role in society).
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Ray Gibbs
24-08-2012 11:13am
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Ends "Press Crimes"
Well done Mr. President. More Press without Borders.
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Hani Booz
24-08-2012 01:25am
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A step in the right direction
I read with relief that we are heading for a civil society.Freedom of speech,press and demonstration are the triad of democracy.I hope that we will move forward and change as an authority and as a nation.
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xxx
24-08-2012 01:18am
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What about this law that is in the Ahram archive since 2006?
http://www.ahram.org.eg/Archive/2006/7/11/FRON1.HTM please, explain..
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nick waer
23-08-2012 09:05pm
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morsi move for not detaining someone before investigation.
great move towards islamic values.
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