PEN International strongly condemns the violence used against peaceful pro-democracy protestors on February 2, 2011, in which journalists and independent media outlets were among those attacked. PEN is alarmed at reports that these attacks were targeted and state sponsored. It considers the Egyptian authorities to be in violation of the state’s international human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including the right to freedom of expression and information as well as the right to freedom of assembly and association. PEN calls upon the Egyptian state authorities to immediately release all those detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to free expression, and to guarantee the safety of journalists and independent observers seeking to report on the protests. It also urges a full investigation into allegations of state-sponsored violence.

Background Information

According to PEN’s information, scores have been arbitrarily detained in the crackdown on peaceful protesters calling for democratic reform in Egypt since January 25, 2011, including several journalists. Many more journalists attempting to cover the demonstrations have been attacked, and tight restrictions have been imposed on freedom of assembly. Reports of physical attacks and brutality against journalists and media outlets have escalated since February 2, 2011, when supporters of President Hosni Mubarak clashed with peaceful anti-government protestors, killing at least five people. Since the protests began 10 days ago, hundreds have been injured and an estimated 300 killed across the country. The government has also restricted access to the Internet, withdrawn mobile phone services, and placed restrictions on independent media.

Write A Letter

  • Condemning the attacks on peaceful protestors, journalists, and independent observers in Cairo and other major cities in Egypt since the start of anti-government protests on January 25, 2011;
  • Calling on the government to remove all restrictions on independent media and release all journalists and lawful protestors who have been detained;
  • Urging authorities to respect Egypt’s international legal obligations in policing the protests and only use force that is reasonable, proportionate and genuinely aimed at preventing crimes;
  • Calling on the government to ensure that there are independent and effective investigations into allegations of killings, attacks or threats by state agents;
  • Urging the government to immediately repeal state emergency laws.

Send Your Letter To

His Excellency Mohammad Hosni Mubarak
President of the Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 390 1998

His Excellency Cr Mamdouh Muheiddin Marei
Minister of Justice
Magles El Shaab St
Justice Bldg
Fax: +202 7958103

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Egypt in your country if possible.

Please contact PEN if sending appeals after February 28, 2011: ftw [at]