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Egypt Journalists' Syndicate says its constitutional recommendations ignored

Egyptian journalists union says that its recommendations to change articles related to press freedom were not included by the amending committee

Ahram Online , Monday 26 Aug 2013
 Press Syndicate
Head of Egypt's Syndicate of Journalists Diaa Rashwan (Photo: Ahram Arabic News Website)
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The Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate has complained that its formal suggestions for amending the current constitution were not taken into account in the new draft.

The press union said in a statement on Monday that the technical committee which is in charge of amending Egypt’s suspended constitution has disregarded the entire range of recommendations proposed by the body.

The syndicate stated that its proposals for the prevention of newspapers bans and for scrapping jail penalties for press cases were ignored, adding that the committee had left the relevant articles in the constitution untouched.

The 2012 constitution allows for the closure of media outlets and the confiscation of publications with a court order.

Egypt's constitution is being amended as per a transitional roadmap announced by the military and backed by much of the political opposition after the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi following nationwide protests.

The technical committee responsible for amending the constitution has finished its draft and passed it to the president, Adly Mansour. A 50-member committee composed of representatives of Egyptian institutions and society are to have a final say on the amended draft.

The Journalists Syndicate also said that the technical committee had ignored its recommendations that the constitution stipulate that a journalist has the right to access information, and ignored its request that media be listed as a fourth branch of the state.

The syndicate also condemned the constitution's stipulation that the president will appoint all heads of media councils in Egypt.

The statement concluded with a plea for the 50-member committee to include their proposals in the final draft of the charter, and said that the head of the syndicate and committee member Diaa Rashwan will work towards this goal.

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