Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Eissa pardoned by President Mubarak

Ibrahim Eissa, the editor in Chief of al Doustor, has been pardoned today, on the 35 anniversary of the Crossing of the canal(The first day of the October War 1973). President Husni Mubarak pardoned him as part of the President´s efforts to foster freedom of the press in Egypt according to the Egyptian official news agency MENA.

While i fully appreciate the gesture from the President today, an important first step to foster freedom of the press in Egypt would be to carry out the promise given to Galal Aref, then Chairman of the Press Syndicate , on February 23rd 2004, about changing legislation, to safeguard journalists from facing the possibility of being sentenced to jail for what they write. This was later incorporated into the Presidential election platform in 2005. Today some 1685 days later, this promise has yet to be fulfilled. This is something that the President surely intends to do, prior to the ending of his fifth term in office in October 2011, or will it become part of the reforms sugested in the presidential election platform in 2011?

Here is al Doustour´s own take on the pardoning of Eissa.

Here is Ibrahim Eissa´s press conference at the Journalists syndcate in Cairo after recieving the pardon.

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