The SIS welcomes the participation of visiting and resident correspondents from various foreign newspapers, news agencies and television networks in covering the remaining steps of the future roadmap that different political and religious forces agreed upon, which includes the presidential and parliamentary elections.
This comes in pursuant of press and publishing freedom and guaranteeing maximum transparency in the electoral process in the context of forging ahead towards building a modern democratic system that achieves the aspirations of the Egyptian people.
The SIS renews its appreciation of the role played by foreign correspondents in covering the referendum on the new constitution on 14-15 January, which represents the main step towards the implementation of Egypt's roadmap for the future.
It also re-emphasizes its interest in both the objective and neutral coverage of political and societal developments in Egypt towards building a real democratic system that respects the freedom of press, expression and publishing, and the constructive criticism and adherence to facts in coverage.
The SIS stresses anew the full respect of the Egyptian government to the freedom of press and publishing as long as the necessary permits are obtained. Restricting the freedom of press and publishing is prohibited by the law and it is inconsistent with the principles of true democracy, which we seek to build. The Egyptian law fully guarantees these freedoms and does not penalize thought or opinion unless they turn into an action penalized by the Egyptian Penal Code or falls within the crimes that threaten the country's national security and supreme interests.
The SIS further confirms that the Egyptian law does not criminalize mere contact with or prior knowing of any one accused of committing a crime or any person imprisoned pending a case, as this, in itself, is not considered a crime to be punished for except if this contact is a sort involvement in committing the crime by means of assisting, inciting or prior agreement. This means that only the one who commits a crime or takes part in a crime shall be punished in accordance with the principle of personal punishment stipulated in the Egyptian law.
Finally, the SIS welcomes the continuing communication with visiting and resident correspondents and re-affirms its commitment to furnishing them with all support and assistance in performing their tasks.