The independent Journalists Against Torture Observatory (JATO) traced at least 55 violations against journalists in November 2016 in its regular monthly report issued Sunday.
The violation that was practiced most frequently was banning journalists from covering news or events with 16 cases recorded, followed by physical assault or injury with eight cases, then official complaints to prosecution authorities with seven cases.
“Judicial bodies and the Ministry of Interior seem to be competing over abusing journalists’ rights,” JATO stated, explaining that most violations came from these two entities, mainly in banning journalists’ coverage, such as of court sessions.
Moreover, two journalists from Sawt Al-Umma newspaper were handed a EGP 30,000 fine after being convicted for defaming a police officer.
The month marked the historic and unprecedented sentencing of the head of the Press Syndicate and two of his deputies on 19 November.
There was also the case of journalist Ismail Alexandrani whom was finally granted a release after one year in detention without trial, but instead saw the decision revoked and his detention further extended.
This comes as press freedom advocates are extremely concerned about an expected law for the press and media to be issued, fearing their inputs to guarantee freedom of speech and prevent imprisonment in crimes of publishing would be disregarded by the lawmakers.