Syndicate chief demands more protection for journalists

Ahram Online , Friday 18 Apr 2014

Reporters accused the security forces of attacking them during clashes at Cairo University last week

Head of Egypt
Head of Egypt's Press Syndicate Diaa Rashwan (R) holds his pen aloft during a protest at the Press Syndicate in downtown Cairo to condemn the recent violence targeting journalists in the field, Thursday, April 17, 2014 (Photo: Bassam El-Zogby)

The head of the journalists syndicate has urged witnesses to report attacks on journalists.

"[Witnesses] should not be worried [about reporting attacks] because they are protected by law and the journalists syndicate," Rashwan told The Complete Picture show on ONTV. 

"I hope a murder charge is proven against the interior ministry or the Muslim Brotherhood one day."

Both the Brotherhood and the police have been accused of deliberately targeting journalists during clashes.

At least 11 journalists have been killed in Egypt since the start of the January 2011 revolution. 

All journalists in Egypt, as well the syndicate, will pursue the killers of journalists until judgement day, Rashwan vowed. 

Dozens of journalists protested on Thursday afternoon against recent attacks. The protest came after two reporters from Youm 7 newspaper and Sada El-Balad TV channel were injured while reporting on clashes at Cairo University. 

News reporters and photographers accused the security forces of targeting journalists during the clashes.

Our colleagues' statements against the security forces will be used in any investigation, he added.

I have asked the army and police to provide journalists with protective vests because the newspapers and rich TV channels have failed to provide them, Rashwan said.

"I have resorted to asking the army and police because they are Egyptian institutions," Rashwan said. "Whoever criticises me for this should provide me with an alternative." 

According to US-based NGO Committee to Protect Journalists, Egypt is the third deadliest place for journalists, after Iraq and Syria, following the murder of at least seven journalists in 2013.

The syndicate will take action to ensure media organisations provide proper support to their reporters in the field, Rashwan said.

The syndicate will also provide such training, he added.

We asked at least 15 newspapers to send us a list of their field reporters, but only six replied, he said.


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