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Pr visit of hosni mubarak to south Africa

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Press Release: Visit of Hosni Mubarak to South Africa

24 July 2008

Press Release

Visit of Hosni Mubarak to South Africa

The Media Review Network has learnt that the South African Government will be hosting the unelected and oppressive head of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr. Hosni Mubarak. It must be remembered that his dictatorial style of leadership has severely restricted organised political opposition and diminished the prospects of sustainable national and political resurgence.

The former military Commander has been in power since 1981. He took over the reigns of Government when Anwar Sadat was assassinated. He has ruled the nation under a state of emergency ever since. Every election under his rule has been rigged to retain his position as president. During the last elections in 2005, no international observers were allowed.

Political opposition is suppressed as witnessed when members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) were arrested in the run up to the recent local elections held in early April 2008.  His sate security machinery arrested members of the Brotherhood as well as other opponents of the administration. The Media is severely restricted thus preventing objective coverage of the political situation. Reports of the torture of political prisoners are rife and frequent. Together with Israel, he is complicit in the present siege of the Gaza which has resulted in the world’s largest open air prison being created. Over a million Palestinians have been dehumanised and are living in abject poverty, totally dependent on international aid.

The Media Review Network calls upon our Government not to lay down the red carpet for this despotic ruler. His regime has violated the very principles of democracy enshrined in the founding vision and objectives of the African Union. It is also in stark contrast with the ideals which South Africans struggled for valiantly and successfully.

Our Government must use this opportunity to remind him of these ideals and principles. That he should respect the rights of the citizens of his country allowing for freedom of expression and free political participation. He must release all political prisoners and open the Rafah border post between Gaza and Egypt as a matter of urgency.

Issued by: Ibrahim VawdaSenior Researcher Media Review Network