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Egypt's Press syndicate calls for meeting on Wednesday to discuss latest in police dispute

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 May 2016
Yehia Kalash
Yehia Kalash, head of Egyptian press syndicate, speaks during a news conference on World Press Freedom Day at the syndicate's headquarters in downtown Cairo May 3, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's press syndicate called for a meeting of its members on Wednesday to follow up on the latest developments in the ongoing dispute with the interior ministry, a statement by the syndicate said. 

The syndicate meeting will aim to find solutions that "preserve the union's entity and journalists' dignity."

The board has formed a committee to prepare and present an agenda to the syndicate on Sunday for Wednesday's meeting.

On Saturday, syndicate head Yehia Kalash discussed with the board members the latest developments in the crisis, examining the legal aspects and procedures in the frame of respecting the laws and the constitution.

The ongoing clash between the syndicate and the ministry started after police stormed the union headquarters on 1 May to arrest two journalists on charges including inciting the public to violence and plotting to overthrow the regime.

Shortly following the "unprecedented and barbaric attack," as described by the syndicate, the board made several demands at an urgent meeting attended by over 2,000 journalists, which included the sacking of the interior minister and the release of all journalists jailed in freedom of expression cases.

A general assembly meeting, which was set for last week, was rescheduled for Tuesday to discuss a possible strike if the demands are not met. It is unclear if Wednesday's announced gathering would be replacing Tuesday's meeting. 

Parliament has been mediating between the two sides to resolve the standoff.

Last week, MPs affiliated with the parliament's Media and ‎Culture Committee told reporters that ‎there are indications that the ongoing crisis would soon reach a "friendly solution."

Kalash has said that the syndicate highly ‎appreciates parliament's attempts to find a solution ‎for the crisis with the interior ministry.

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