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Union backs Mohamed Hashem against SCAF

Publishers Union backs Hashem against allegations made by ruling military council that he indirectly supported recent Tahrir violence 'by giving protesters gas masks'

Ahram Online, Tuesday 20 Dec 2011
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The Egyptian Publishers Union has declared solidarity with Mohamed Hashem, owner of the Dar Merit publishing house, in a unanimously approved statement issued on Monday after the ruling military council accused Hashem of indirect involvement in recent clashes near Tahrir Square.

At a press conference on Monday, a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) showed a video of Hashem distributing gas masks, money and other equipment to protesters, which he claimed made the publisher guilty of indirect involvement in the violence.

The union stressed Hashem’s high reputation and rejected these allegations, which they said were made without evidence.

A number of Egyptian intellectuals marched in support of Hashem, starting at the Dar Merit office, carrying signs supporting the revolution and opposing military rule.

The statement went on to say that the allegations against Hashem were attacks on the values represent by his publishing house, which has borne the flag of enlightenment since its inception and always supported Egyptians fighting oppression. Dar Merit is considered a rare safe haven for free expression in Egypt and led to Hashem’s receipt of the Herman Kasten medal for his efforts in this field.  

All supporters of freedom in the Arab world should stand by Mohamed Hashem, said the statement, to defend the values of the Egyptian Revolution, and to stand against all plots to destroy it.

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