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Egypt's Journalist Syndicate to boycott prosecutor-general

Journalists stand by Wednesday's appeal court verdict and refuse to deal with Egypt's prosecutor-general's office in solidarity with Syndicate deputy chairman

Ahram Online, Thursday 28 Mar 2013
Journalist Syndicate (Photo: Mohamed Nada)
Views: 439
Views: 439

The Egyptian Journalist Syndicate board decided to boycott dealing with the prosecutor-general's office, according to the Syndicate statement on Thursday.

The move comes in solidarity with Gamal Fahmy, the Syndicate board deputy chairman, after he refused to appear in front of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

The Appeals Prosecution was scheduled to investigate a report against Fahmy for "publishing false news that threatens national security." Fahmy is accused of publishing the intentional killing of El-Hosseiny Abou-Deif during clashes outside of Cairo’s presidential palace in December 2012.

"The reports regarding the journalists will be presented to the prosecution and not to the prosecutor-general's office," read the Syndicate's statement.

The board's stance comes to implement Wednesday's verdict of Cairo's appeal court that overturned President Mohamed Morsi’s dismissal of former prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud.

President Morsi’s appointed Talaat Abdullah to replace the former prosecutor-general within the context of a legislative void in November 2012 via a highly controversial constitutional declaration.

The statement accused the prosecutor-general for holding back a number of cases, including the killing of Abou-Deif, violations against journalists in front of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo’s Moqattam district, the burning of Wafd newspaper headquarters and attacks on Al-Watan premises.

The statement explained that the syndicate accused specific individuals in the reports. However, the prosecutor-general did not order requests to hear their testimonies.

“The journalists stance is a commitment to the court's verdict, which also expresses refusal for the on-hold journalists cases that the prosecutor-general didn’t move forward,” said Khaled El-Balshy, commissioner of the legislative committee in the council.

The council also urged all the journalists not to appear in front of the prosecution because of the ‘illegitimacy’ of the current prosecutor-general.

In March 2012, unknown assailants torched the headquarters of the privately owned Al-Watan newspaper.

In December 2012, Egyptian journalist El-Hosseiny Abou-Deif, 33, who worked for the privately owned Al-Fagr newspaper, was shot in the head during clashes at the presidential palace in Cairo.

The same month, attackers surrounded the building of the opposition Wafd Party and Wafd newspaper. The attackers sprayed the walls, lit fireworks and destroyed cars parked outside the building.

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