Egypt must respect freedom of expression: UN`s Ban

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Egypt`s govt that "freedom of expression should be fully respected" as it addresses a wave of popular protest.

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2011, 21:14 PM IST

Davos: United Nations Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon warned Egypt`s government on Friday that "freedom of
expression should be fully respected" as it addresses a wave
of popular protest.

Asked at the Davos conference about Egypt`s decision
to block Internet use in the wake of the demonstrations, Ban
said: "Freedom of expression and association should be fully
respected."

Ban also called more broadly for governments in the
region facing protest -- such as Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen --
to listen to their people and address what he said were
"legitimate concerns".

"I have been very closely following the situation
which has been happening in that region, starting from
Tunisia, then Egypt now Yemen and elsewhere," he told
reporters on the sidelines of the business summit.

"What I have been saying repeatingly is that first of
all, all concerned people or leaders should ensure that the
situation in that region, particularly now in Egypt, does not
and should not lead to further violence," he said.

"And I have been calling on the authorities to see all
this situation as an opportunity to engage in addressing the
legitimate concerns and wishes of their people," he said.

"The leaders of their countries have a broad
responsibility and at the same time a mandate to listen
attentively to the wishes of their people," he said.

Egypt cut mobile phone and Internet services today and
sent columns of riot police trucks into Cairo in a bid to
thwart thousands of activists due to join anti-regime protests
after noon prayers.

PTI