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The author reviews the opinions of some veteran journalists about the law to cancel the imprisonment penalty in publishing-related cases.
The author focuses on some aspects of the draft law on the abolition of imprisonment of journalists, which will soon be referred to the People’s Assembly for a final debate.
The article examines some problems facing journalists, urging them to start a strong initiative to improve the condition of the press in Egypt.
While Kuwait, which is considered a small country compared to Egypt, has stopped using the law to imprison journalists, Egypt still imprisons journalists despite the president’s promises that imprisonment in publishing-related cases will be abolished.
Tharwat Fathy examines the freedom of journalists in Egypt, given that last month, a Cairo court sentenced Abdel-Nasser al-Zuheiri, a journalist with al-Masri al-Youm, to one year in prison.
The conviction of a young journalist, Amīra Malash, in a libel suit has created uproar amongst the press and journalists and human rights activists have stood up defending freedom of expression.
According to the author, it is important to issue a decree preventing the detention of journalists but, at the same time, punishing any offenses in a non-physical way.
Many argue that President Mubārak’s decision to abolish the law allowing the imprisonment of journalists in Egypt is a positive step on the way to securing freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
The government has established parties it alleges are expressive of the dissolved Labor Party. Yet no room has been left for different opinions, and al-Shā‘b, Labor’s newspaper, which was closed down years ago, has not been re-issued with its original journalists.
The parliamentary session has ended without discussing the draft law prohibiting the imprisonment of journalists, though it has been 15 months since the president promised it would see the light.

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