Egypt: ANHRI Denounces the Security Intervention to Ban the Screening A documentary Movie on Jews in Egypt


Cairo March 14, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), today denounces banning the screening the movie “Jews of Egypt” due to objections made by the security bodies regarding the title and the content of the movie.

The Film producer “Haytham El-Khamissy” was surprised when he requested to obtain the approvals regarding the movie by the rejection of the censorship authority to his request due to allegations that security bodies objected the name of the movie, despite the movie had all the required approvals in all of the stages of production in addition to that the censorship authority had pre-approved screening the movie in the frame European Film Panorama festival in last September. Banning of the movie lead to serious problems to the film producer who took all the procedures regarding the public screening of the movie which include reserving cinemas.

The documentary movie addresses the circumstances of the Jewish community in Egypt at the first of half of the 20th century until most of them left Egypt at the end of 1950. The movie was viewed in the Cinemas in the USA and it secluded to be screened in three cinemas in Egypt in Wednesday March 13, 2013.

ANHRI said that “the security bodies intervention to ban screening of the film, despite obtaining the proper approval from the censorship body, is a violation to the law and disclose the persistence of the police state phenomenas that grew all the life aspects of the Egyptian society during the last decades, especially at the rein of the ousted president”.

ANHRI added that “what was said by the head of the censorship authority of discovering a document from the security that rejects screening the movie in a file of the film since a year ago. His statements that in the frame of his communications with the security in order to solve the problem regarding screening the movie conveyed to him the fears of the security from screening it now with the controversial statements delivered by “Essam El-Rian” the deputy of Freedom and Justice Party regarding Jews, but all of these are irrelevant justifications as he is the head of the only authority that are authorized by the law to approve the screening the movie and it has already issued this approval before. In addition to that it also reveal a severe defect in the working procedures of the authority as it subject to the security bodies dedications without legal justification that grants these bodies the intervention in the work of the authority after the approvals of the movie were issued”.

ANHRI asserted on that “all the censorship on the creative works in terms of the content or the technical processing is totally rejected. It contradicts with the right of expression and the technical processing that guaranteed by the Egyptian constitution and protected by the international treaties and charters in which Egypt is a signatory. It is time after the revolution, that supposedly overthrew the regime and its police state, that such all censorship forms on the art works must disappear and in particularly the role of the security bodies in such censorship”.

ANHRI demands the immediate approval to screening the movie and demands investigation regarding obstructing the film in violation of the law and hold the responsible accountable in addition to demand the legislative authorities represented in the current Shoura council to review the law on Censorship to cope with the constitution and international treaties and charters in which Egypt is a signatory and which ensure the freedom of expression and creativity.

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