I'm in solidarity with my fellow journalists against Shura Council decisions: Nasserist Sabbahi

Ahram Online, Thursday 5 Jul 2012

Former presidential runner Hamdeen Sabbahi announces that he is on the side of journalists in their struggle for press freedom and full independence

Hamdeen Sabbahi
Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi (Photo: Reuters)

Former presidential candidate, Nasserist veteran Hamdeen Sabbahi, said on his Facebook page Wednesday that he completely supports his fellow journalists who are objecting to interference by the Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament) in the Supreme Press Council, which is responsible for appointing editors-in-chief of state-owned media outlets.

Sabbahi wrote: "I am asking for the postponement of that decision until the new constitution is written and determines the Shura Council's role. It's time to loosen the state's grip on the media and national newspapers," adding that determination to implement the decision by the Shura Council exposed efforts to dominate national press institutions.

Sabbahi worked in the journalism field in the 1980s and 1990s and is a member of the Journalists' Syndicate. He ran for president on a pro-revolutionary platform and fought an impressive electoral battle, finishing a not-so-distant third with 21.6 per cent of the vote, according to unofficial figures. In many governorates he dominated. Ahmed Shafiq came second with 23.7 per cent, while Mohamed Morsi took first place with 25.3 per cent.

About a hundred journalists from various state-owned newspapers protested in front of the Journalists' Syndicate Tuesday afternoon against Shura Council control on the media.

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