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Union of Egyptian Writers joins call for swift presidential elections

Writers call for a march on 30 December from Zamalek to Tahrir in support of essential freedoms and early presidential elections

Ahram Online, Thursday 22 Dec 2011
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In an emergency members meeting Wednesday, 21 December, the Union of Egyptian Writers discussed recent incidents in Tahrir Square and surrounding streets that threaten Egypt's path to democracy.

A statement issued by the union expressed its refusal of bloodshed among Egyptians, underlining the right to protest and rejecting violent attempts to disperse demonstrations, while confirming the importance of protecting state institutions that belong to the Egyptian people.

The union called for an immediate halt to all violence against the Egyptian masses, and for swift investigations into the rights violations of recent days. There is also a demand to announce the result of investigations into clashes at the Balloon Theatre in Agouza, Maspero and Mohamed Mahmoud Street, and to release all those detained since 25 January 2011.

Joining the revolutionaries' call, the union also calls for responding to the revolution's demands of establishing a new modern civil state, securing freedoms, democracy and social justice, and by following policies that would achieve such aims, including the priority of fixing minimum and maximum wages.

The writers and authors also called for early presidential elections in parallel to preparing the constitution, as soon as the People’s Assembly elections are completed, to allow for the swift transferal of power to an elected body.

The union announced its full solidarity with Mohamed Hashem, owner of Dar Merit publishing house, underlining the importance of freedom of expression in publishing, and refusing the unjustified claims made by the ruling military council against intellectuals, writers and publishers.

A march is planned on Friday, 30 December, starting from the Union of Egyptian Writers' premises in Zamalek to Tahrir Square. The union will also participate in similar marches on 25 January 2012, marking one year since the beginning of the January 2011 revolution.

The statement announced its plan to convene a conference of syndicates and NGOs dealing with opinion and publishing, as well as any organisations dealing with creative production, to formulate one unified stance among all thinkers and artists on the fundamentals of freedom of expression and political action.

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