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Police officer suspended for critical poem: ANHRI - Daily News Egypt

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Police officer suspended for critical poem: ANHRI

Rights watchdog condemns Ministry of Interior for suppressing freedom of speech

The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has slammed the Ministry of Interior for suspending a police officer who wrote a poem about the hardships young police recruits face.

Officer Sameh Zahir was suspended from his position as a police officer after writing a poem detailing the adversity new police officers face in a politically unstable Egypt.  Zahir, described by ANHRI as a “young officer” was lauded several months earlier for writing a poem praising the work of Egyptian security forces.

ANHRI describes Zahir’s case as part of a systematic silencing against voices of dissent which includes journalists, writers, activists, and “even some police officers.”

“The campaign against the freedom of expression and freedom of the press it the worst of its kind in at least twenty years,” read the statement.

“Hope in the rule of law and respect for human rights [are] diminishing day by day in Egypt.”

Zahir’s suspension comes amid a growing government crackdown targeting protestors, journalists, and activists.

April 6 Youth Movement founder Ahmed Maher, member Mohamed Adel and prominent activist Ahmed Douma were handed a three-year prison sentence on 22 December 2013, while high-profile activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah has been in detention since 28 November 2013.

Egyptian prosecutors are currently mounting a case against 20 journalists they claim worked for Al Jazeera.  The defendants are charged with a plethora of charges ranging from spreading false news to belonging to a terrorist organisation.

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