582 documented Violations against media freedoms in Egypt over the first half of 2016
August 3rd, 2016


Journalists Against Torture

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The Journalists Against Torture Observatory (JATO) has monitored and recorded different 582 cases of violations against media freedoms over the first half of 2016. Among them, there were 394 incidents with direct documentation (two-thirds of the total count) using victims' testimonies, the field team or direct communication with witnesses or media institutions. Also, there were 188 others with indirect documentation using sources of different media outlets.

JATO confirms his commitment to saving privacy and safety of victims. So, there are recorded violations but not published or some parts of their content have been removed depending on the victim's desire. Also, there were many allegations about violations or specific details around these violations which were revised and authenticated by the unit of monitoring and documentation and that led to its invalidity, inaccuracy or inconsistency amid its information.

Also, the observatory notices that this report does not represent the full picture of reality, but it is only what the unit has managed to monitor and document using specific professional means of information gathering and documentation.

The violations distribution according to Documentation Level:

The violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2016, according to Documentation Level                                          

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"Prevention of Media Coverage" on the top of violations list, then "Verbal and Physical Assault"

During the first half of 2016, journalists have suffered severely from different types of violations. JATO has recorded "Prevention of Media Coverage" in the first place with 195 incidents, followed by "Verbal Assault" with 74 and "Physical Assault" with 73 ones. Also, there were 57 cases of " Illegal Detention" and 51 of "Lawsuits (Still no verdict)".

After that, "Stopping" was recorded 32 times, then "Arrest" with 28 times and "Confiscation of Media Tools" with 18 times. Also, there were 12 "Verdicts with Imprisonment" against journalist and another 12 "ones with Fine". Concerning " Publication Prevention of Media Content", JATO has monitored 11 cases. Then, there were 4 incidents for each "Disciplinary Sanction", "Destroying or Burning of Media Tools", "Release with Bail" and "Physical Assault inside Custody".  Two other cases took place as "Breaking into a Media Headquarter". At last, there was only one incident of "Entry Ban at the Airport".

The violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2016, according to Violation Type

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MOI and Officials take the lead of the Aggressor Category" list:

According to this report. "Ministry of Interior" has committed the greatest number of violations with 230 incidents then "Government Agencies and Officials" with 120. After that, "Civilians" group comes with 109 cases and "Judicial Institutions" with 86. Also, there were 24 "Judicial Verdicts" and finally "Media Institutions" have committed by themselves 13 violations against journalists.

The violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2016, according to Aggressor Category

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Egyptian Privately-owned Newspapers and Channels and Digital Media are the most media outlets suffering from violations:

On the top of "Victim Category" list, there were 196 violations against "Egyptian Privately-owned Newspapers" and 59 others against each "Egyptian Privately-owned TV Channels" and "Digital Media".

In the same context, JATO has documented 22 violations against "Egyptian State-owned Newspapers" and 15 cases against each "Egyptian Partisan Newspapers" and "Arab TV Channel". After that, "Syndicates" administrative stuff has suffered from 10 violations. Also, there were 8 incidents against each "Egyptian State-owned TV Channel" and "Foreign News Agency", 7 against "Egyptian News Agency" and 6 others against "Foreign TV Channels". Finally, it was recorded 3 violations against "Foreign Newspapers" and 2 against "Arab Newspapers". Knowing that there were 172 other cases with no determination of the Victim Category.

The violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2016, according to Victim Category

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82% of total violations is concentrated in Cairo and Giza

Violations have hit most governorates. "Cairo" comes in the first place with 341 incidents then "Giza" with 135 and "Alexandria" with 18 ones. JATO has recorded 13 violations in "Dakahlia", 9 in "Gharbia", 8 in "Aswan" and 7 in "Suez".  Also, there were 6 cases in each "Qalyubia", "Asyut" and "Portsaid" then 5 in "Beni Suef". After that, each "Damietta", " Minya" and "Luxor" included 4 incidents and each "New Valley", "Qena", "Ismailia" and "Faiyum" included 3 others. At last, there were two violations in each "Sharqia" and "Monufia".

The violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2016, according to Incident Governorate

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Most violations are directed against male journalists:

Regarding the victims gender, JATO has distinguished 351 incidents against male journalists, while female ones have suffered from 68 cases. Also, there were 163 other cases of "Mass Violation" with no determination of gender type.

The violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2016, according to Victim Gender

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Mostly, Egyptian journalists are exposed to violations except only 20 incidents:

According the victims nationality, there were 562 cases against Egyptian journalists and only 20 against foreign ones.

The violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2016, according to Victim Nationality

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Reporters face the bigger part of violations:

Concerning the victim position, reporters were exposed to 379 violations then editors to 41 and administrative journalists to 40 incidents. After that, it was recorded 37 different cases against photographers and 30 against anchors. Knowing that there were 55 other cases with no determination of the victim position.

The violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2016, according to Victim Position

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Simple Statistical Comparison between the first half of 2015 and 2016

The first half of 2016 makes a new record of violations figures since the beginning of JATO in Nov 2013. Over the first half of 2016, there were 582 violations incidents against media freedoms which is nearly twice the count of violations over the same time scale of 2015 with 262 cases.

Comparison between the violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2015 and 2016s, according to Violation Type

    Reviewing the previous table, it is obvious that "Publication Prevention of Media Content" is the most violation predominant during the two years. JATO has recorded 195 violations of this types over the first half of 2016 and 130 over the same period of 2015.

Comparison between the violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2015 and 2016s, according to Aggressor Category    

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Analyzing that, we can figure out that "MOI" is the most groups committing violations with almost the same rate through the two half years. During the first half of 2015, there were 109 incidents done by MOI (with percentage 42% of the total number) in comparison with 230 times by the same authority during 2016 (with percentage of 40%).

"Government Agencies and Officials" and "Civilians" come with the most prominent count in the "Aggressor Category" list, where there were 120 violations by "Government Agencies and Officials" in 2016 in comparison with 50 in 2015, but in case of "Civilians" there were 109 in 2016 versus 55 in 2015.

"Judicial Institutions" group achieves the most growing rate (three times) from 2015 to 2016 in the "Aggressor Category" list. JATO has monitored 29 violations by "Judicial Institutions" in the first half of 2015 which increased to 86 in 2016.

Comparison between the violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2015 and 2016s, according to Victim Category

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According to the previous table, it is clear that "Egyptian Privately-owned Newspapers and Channels and Digital Media" were suffered from the bigger number of violations with percentage of 54% of the total count in 2016 and 49% in 2015.

In Case of "Egyptian Privately-owned Newspapers", there were 58 violations in 2015 versus 196 in 2016 but violations against "Egyptian Privately-owned Channels" increased significantly from 5 cases in 2015 to 59 in 2016. In the same context, " Digital Media" was exposed to larger violations in 2015 with 66 incidents in comparison with 2016 with 59 ones.

Also, there was a remarkable increase in violations against "Egyptian State-owned Newspapers" which reached 22 incidents in 2016 instead of only 7 in 2015 through the same time scale of the first six months.

Comparison between the violations distribution against media freedoms over the first half of 2015 and 2016s, according to Incident Governorate

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Depending on this table, most violations took place in "Cairo", "Giza" and "Alexandria" in both the first half of 2015 and 2016 where their percentage in 2015 was 81% and reached 85% in 2016. "Cairo", the capital city, included the biggest part of violations with 158 in 2015 and 341 in 2016, followed by "Giza" in the second place with 41 in 2015 and 135 in 2016.

Throughout the remaining governorates, violations spread out with small numbers during the two time periods. Taking into consideration, there was a significant increase in "Dakahlia" during the first half of 2016 which was due to covering the incident of storming the "Egyptian lawyers Syndicate" club in Talkha city and assaults by bodyguards of the football player Mohamed Elneny against journalists in "Gaziret Al-ward" club in Mansoura City.