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Press Syndicate says it follows up on calls to widen the margin of press freedom

Ahram Online , Saturday 5 Oct 2019
Press Syndicate
Egypt's Press Syndicate (Photo: Mohamed Nada)

The Press Syndicate said it was closely following up on the recent calls for the need to expand the margin of the freedom of the press.

According to the syndicate's statement on Saturday, the board appreciated all the calls voiced by society and the state demanding the full freedom of the press within the framework of professionalism and legal responsibility at that sensitive time in Egypt's history.

The syndicate emphasised a set of observations related to the ongoing debate about the press and its freedom. It said that to correctly talk about the freedom of the press there should be firm commitment to articles 70, 71 and 72 of the constitution, which meant guaranteeing the freedom of the press, printing and publishing, the freedom to issue newspapers without any obstacles, prohibiting the censorship, confiscation or suspension of mass media, and the state's commitment to the independence of national press institutions.

It also stressed that the completion of the talks about the freedom of the press had to go in line with accelerating the serious dialogue and the constructive efforts between the syndicate and the concerned state bodies regarding the situation of the imprisoned journalists in publishing cases to reach legal solutions that result in their release.

The Press Syndicate board said in its statement that the free, professional and legally responsible press was part of the tools of progress and was an integral part of the fight against terrorism and extremism. The press remained part of Egypt's soft power that spread enlightenment, defended the truth, and exposed corruption, it added.

Society's right to diversity and disagreement shouldn't be ignored, the syndicate said. It was the role of the press that had been giving the people the reassurance that there were alternatives and solutions to their problems. Therefore, it was necessary to provide an opportunity for the opposing national voices that abide by the country's constitution and its state institution to express themselves, the statement continued.

The board said it believed that talking about freedom of the press required everyone to abide by articles 71 and 77 of the constitution and the Press Syndicate Law, since it was the only body entrusted with holding its members accountable for their professional practice. The board reaffirmed its commitment to this role in accordance with the Press Code of Conduct.

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