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Saturday, 14 December 2019

Trial of Egypt's press syndicate board members adjourned to 18 June

Syndicate chairman Yehia Kalash and two board members were referred to court last week for harbouring journalists Mahmoud El-Sakka and Amr Badr in the syndicate's downtown Cairo headquarters

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 4 Jun 2016
Yehia Qalash
Yehia Qalash (C), head of the Egyptian press syndicate entering the courthouse for his first trial session on Saturday 4 June 2016 (Photo: Bassam Alzogby)
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A Cairo misdemeanour court adjourned on Saturday the first session of the trial of Egypt's press syndicate chairman Yehia Kalash and two other board members on charges of harbouring fugitives.

The trial was adjourned to 18 June on the request of the defense, led by rights lawyer Khaled Ali, to give more time for defense lawyers to review the case.

During the first session of the trial, Ali said the prosecuting of the head of Egypt's journalists syndicate is a "terrorising message to journalists nationwide."

Tens of journalists gathered outside the court house in solidarity with Kalash and the case's two other defendants: union Secretary-General Gamal Abdel Reheem and Undersecretary Khaled El-Balshy.

The journalists chanted "raise your head up high, you are a journalist."

Representatives from the country's National Council for Human Rights attended the trial in solidarity along with representatives from the European Union and the German Embassy in Cairo.

Kalash, Abdel Reheem and El-Balshy were referred to court last week for harbouring journalists Mahmoud El-Sakka and Amr Badr - who were staging a sit-in to protest warrants issued for their arrest - in the syndicate's downtown Cairo headquarters.

The trio are also facing charges of spreading false news about the police raid of the union's headquarters on 1 May that resulted in the arrest of the two journalists.

A trial is yet to be set for this charge.

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