CAIRO (AFP) -Egypt’s press law has been was amended after President Hosni Mubarak intervened in favour of quashing an article stipulating prison terms for journalists who make allegations of corruption.
Parliament speaker Fathi Surur hailed Mubarak’s decision as a “victory for democracy”, but Ibrahim Mansur of the journalists’ union said the new law did not go far enough.
The law, which leaves prison sentences to judges’ discretion rather than abolishing them altogether, goes against promises made by Mubarak during last year’s election campaign to abolish jail sentences for journalists.
“From today, no longer can a journalist be imprisoned nor will any pen be broken, and we support freedom of expression in denouncing corruption,” speaker Surur said on Monday.
But Mansur told AFP: “The amendments are not enough. All prison sentences for journalists must be stricken from the law.”