Hundreds demonstrate in solidarity with journalists being questioned by military

Salma Shukrallah and Mai Shaheen , Tuesday 31 May 2011

Hundreds gather before the offices of the military prosecutor in a show of solidarity with journalists Hossam Hamalawy and Reem Maged who have been called in for questioning by the military

Demonstration in solidarity with Hamalawy and Reem
Activists at demonstration carry banners reading "The military council is not a red line, the people are" and "no to oppressing freedom of speech and expression" (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Hundreds gathered on Tuesday in front of the military prosecutor, as journalist and blogger Hossam El-Hamalawy and TV presenter Reem Maged were being interrogated, to show solidarity for the two journalists and express support freedom of speech.

The demonstrators held banners reading “The people are above the ruling authorities and nothing should overrule the freedom to criticize”, “you are not gods so as to ask people not to criticize you” and “Freedom to Hossam”.

The demonstrators also chanted against the military trials of civilians and for freedom of speech.

El-Hamalawy and Maged were called in for questioning by the military prosecution after Maged hosted El-Hamalawy on her popular prime time talk show on On TV. In the course of the show, El-Hamalawy charged that the military police had, on a number of occasions, tortured activists and said that the head of the military police should be held to account for this.

Another journalist, Nabil Sharaf El-Din was also called for questioning by the military prosecution authorities on the same day as El-Hamalawy and Maged after criticizing the role of the military in handling Egypt’s transition period.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces called on youth groups to participate in dialogue with the military in a meeting set for Wednesday hours after El-Hamalawy, Maged and Sharaf El-Din were called in for questioning. The Youth Coalition has already declared that they will continue to boycott dialogue with the military so long as civilians face military trials and prosecution.

Demonstrators continue to stand in front of the military prosecution waiting for El-Hamalawy and Maged to come out.


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