International Publishers Demand Egyptian Government Stop Attacks
By William New, Intellectual Property Watch on 22/12/2011 @ 3:17 pm
The Geneva-based International Publishers Association today joined organisations demanding that the interim Egyptian government stop attacks on an Egyptian publisher, and uphold the internationally recognised right to freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of assembly and association.
“In a recent press conference the Egyptian military rulers have accused the publisher and member of the Egyptian Publishers Association (EPA), Mohamed Hashem of the publishing house Dar Merit, of unlawfully supporting demonstrators on Tahrir square. Since then a number of organisations within and outside of Egypt have expressed their support for the publisher,” IPA said in a statement. “The International Publishers Association (IPA) would like to remind the transitional government of Egypt of the values that the international publishing community shares with EPA and its members, including Mohamed Hashem, and that are included in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the joint IPA-EPA freedom to publish declaration of 10 February 2011.”
The joint declaration of the IPA and the Egyptian Publishers Association is available here  [pdf].
“IPA condemns any government accusations that imply wrongdoing where a publisher, through his publishing activities or otherwise, contributes peacefully to the democratic process in his country,” IPA Secretary General Jens Bammel said in the statement. “The rule of law requires that public authorities refrain from using press conferences as a substitute for the independent legal process that is the only process to address alleged wrongdoings by citizens.”
The IPA states that it “actively fights against censorship and promotes copyright, literacy and freedom to publish.” It has been seen as somewhat less supportive on promoting knowledge access in negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization aimed at opening cross-border flows of special texts for print-disabled and blind readers (IPW, WIPO, 5 December 2011 ).
Workers at the Library of Alexandria have also struggled in recent weeks in an attempt to change the leadership at the globally recognised institution (IPW, Access to Knowledge, 6 November 2011 ), but have met with stiff resistance.
[Update:] The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today also issued a release  declaring its support for Egyptian publisher Mohamed Hashem. “At a press conference on December 19, General Adel Emara, a member of SCAF [Supreme Council of the Armed Forces], denounced Hashem and accused him of ‘sabotage’ for providing helmets and blankets to demonstrators at Tahrir Square,” the AAP said. “Immediately after those charges, dozens of Egyptian nationals including authors, publishers, a former Minister of Culture and others signed a statement rejecting the accusations. Hashem himself stated publicly that he would not stop aiding the demonstrators.”
Article printed from Intellectual Property Watch: http://www.ip-watch.org
URL to article: http://www.ip-watch.org/2011/12/22/international-publishers-demand-egyptian-government-stop-attacking-publisher/
URLs in this post:
 available here: http://www.ip-watch.orgwww.internationalpublishers.org/images/stories/FtP/epa%20ipa%20joint%20declaration_10_02_11.pdf
 IPW, WIPO, 5 December 2011: http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/2011/12/05/wipo-sees-progress-on-broadcaster-rights-library-exceptions-treaty-for-blind-readers-slips/
 IPW, Access to Knowledge, 6 November 2011: http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/2011/11/06/in-egypt-director-of-famed-library-of-alexandria-under-fire/
 issued a release: http://www.publishers.org/press/55/
 Google, Publishers Reach Digital Library Settlement: http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/10/05/google-publishers-digital-library-settlement-allows-readers-20-open-access/
 Music Publishers, Universal Sign “Groundbreaking” Licence Deal: http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/06/19/music-publishers-universal-group-sign-groundbreaking-licence-deal/