The Executive Board of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) has issued the following statement:
We, the elected Executive Board of the International Association for Media and Communication Research based in six different countries, wish to state our support for the restoration of free public communication and the move to an authentic democracy for all Egyptian and Tunisian citizens, as for the citizens of other nations who suffer from the violent repression of these rights.
We are concerned at the violation of the Egyptian people’s rights of assembly and free speech that require a non-intimidating atmosphere without the threat of harm. The shutting down of internet and mobile phone access for long periods does not help the process of democratization in Egypt. We are also concerned about the attacks in Egypt on human rights activists and on journalists working for many international news channels and on countless other photographers and reporters on the ground who are covering this vitally important story for global audiences.
IAMCR is committed to all peoples’ right to protest, on the need for respect for freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly as a cornerstone of any democracy and on the right of people to show dissent to authority without being subject to abuse or attacks.
We call on the authorities in Egypt, and in all the countries of North Africa and the Middle East now in upheaval, to respect the rights of citizens, to maintain their access to media and the internet and to protect domestic and international journalists and human rights professionals from harassment and abuse.
Prof. Annabelle Sreberny, President, SOAS, University of London
Prof. John Downing, Vice-President, Southern Illinois University
Prof. Ruth Teer-Tomaselli, Vice-President, University of KwaZulu/Natal
Prof. Hopeton Dunn, Secretary General, University of the West Indies
Dr Beate Josephi, Treasurer, Edith Cowan University, Australia
Mr Bruce Girard, Comunica, Montevideo, Uruguay