Egypt's journalists syndicate affirms support to press freedom

Ahram Online , Wednesday 11 Apr 2018

Egypt's head of press syndicate Abdel Mohsen Salama attending Tuesday's meeting at the headquarters in downtown Cairo (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's Journalists' Syndicate stressed in a Tuesday general meeting the importance of freedom of the press in the country following controversial measures taken against two major media outlets.

The meeting was headed by Abdel-Mohsen Salama, head of the syndicate.

On Sunday, Al-Masry Al-Youm editor-in-chief Mohamed El-Sayed Saleh was replaced by veteran journalist Hamdy Rizk following a controversy about the paper’s presidential elections coverage.

Egypt's Supreme Media Council also fined the paper EGP 100,000 following an investigation by the syndicate.

During the meeting, the syndicate's press council affirmed that they reject the later doubling of penalties on Al-Masry Al-Youm by the general prosecution after the Supreme Media Council's initial decision.

They also affirmed that all press-related issues should be referred to the Journalists' Syndicate to be dealt with outside of court rooms.

The syndicate's press council also affirmed its support for Adel Sabry, chief editor of the news website Masr Al-Arabiya, who was detained last week on charges of publishing false news and operating a news website without a license, according to the interior ministry.

His detention came two days after the Supreme Media Council imposed a EGP 50,000 fine on the website for publishing a translation of a New York Times report on alleged violations during the 2018 presidential election.

The council also underlined the importance of adhering to article 71 of the Egyptian Constitution, which reads, “It is prohibited to censor, confiscate, suspend or shut down Egyptian newspapers and media outlets.” 

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