Egypt's journalists’ syndicate called on Sunday for a general assembly on 4 March to discuss several issues including press freedoms and the recently proposed media and press law.
"This general assembly comes at a very critical time in Egypt. Aside from the usual matters related to the syndicate, we have the issue of press freedom and the media laws proposed by the government," Khaled El-Balshy, head of the freedoms committee and the journalists’ syndicate told Ahram Online.
El-Balshy called on fellow syndicate members to attend the assembly at the syndicate headquarters in Cairo.
"The members are required to come to the general assembly and I urge them to attend as it comes at a critical time."
According to the journalists' syndicate, there are currently 32 journalists – not all syndicate members – detained and jailed in Egypt, including 18 in cases related to journalism.
The House of Representatives is expected to discuss the unified draft law for media and journalism, which was initially drafted by the journalists’ syndicate, the media industry chamber, the high council of journalism, and a number of legal experts, before sending it to the cabinet.
The draft law aims to regulate the licensing and day-to-day operation of press and media in Egypt.
Leading members of the journalists’ syndicate have expressed concern that the draft bill may be amended by the government in a manner that does not serve journalists' interests.