On Thursday evening, Egyptian media reported that a journalist in the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper has committed suicide in his office.
The journalist, named Emad al-Fekky, committed suicide by hanging himself in his office on the fourth floor in the famous Al-Ahram newspaper building in downtown Cairo, in the early hours of Thursday morning, in what seems to be mysterious circumstances.
The Azbakeya prosecutors took over the investigation and have ordered to summon eyewitnesses and the journalist’s wife.
Preliminary investigations showed that the person that committed suicide was a 54-year-old journalist in the news section of Al-Ahram newspaper.
He committed suicide by hanging: his head separated from his body in the balcony of his office in the newspapers building.
A team of detectives listened to the statements of his colleagues and eyewitnesses to determine the circumstances of the incident, and another team examined the surveillance cameras in the vicinity of the incident to reveal its circumstances.
The investigation authorities also summoned the journalist’s family to hear their statements.
The body was transferred to the morgue, and necessary legal measures have been taken.
On the other hand, Mahmoud Kamel, a member of the Journalists Syndicate board, commented on the incident, on his personal Facebook page, saying: “All the colleagues in Al-Ahram who have been close to the late colleague know very well that in the last four years he was subjected to systematic persecution.
It seems he wasn’t able to reach his potential and was deprived of incentives and profits over these years.
He was informally prevented from practicing his journalistic work without a reason and was subjected to injustice].”
He missed his promotion to head his department several times as part of this persecution, he added.
“The deceased chose to send a message from the place of his death to every editor-in-chief, to the head of the National Press Authority and its members, to the Journalists’ Syndicate and members of its board, and to every press leader that practices oppression,” Kamel added.
“The message has reached your colleagues. May God have mercy on you and forgive you,” he wrote.
In response to these statements, Alaa Thabet, editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram newspaper spoke to Masrawy in an exclusive interview.
He said that he had contacted the Journalists’ Syndicate chairman Diaa Rashwan, regarding the statements of Kamel, adding that he would take legal measures against Kamel’s statements.
He also added: “With all the prayers for mercy and forgiveness for the dear late colleague, I regret that I have to, unfortunately and in pain, participate in a sterile controversy to correct false information, although it is neither the right time nor the right space for it.”
He described Kamel’s statements as hateful exploitation of the feelings of sympathy and love that flowed from the people who loved the deceased after the painful tragedy of his passing.
“I firmly affirm that everything published by my colleague Mahmoud Kamel, a member of the Journalists’ Syndicate board, is fiction and vague and incomprehensible,” he continued.
The records of Al-Ahram foundation and the National Press Authority have so far proven that none of the deceased’s profits were in any way deducted since 2017 until now, Thabet stated.
“Accordingly, I accuse colleague Mahmoud Kamel of willful lying and violating norms, principles and the professional code of honor, and I confirm that the deceased colleague has no complaints in the records of Al-Ahram, the Syndicate, or media boards,” he added.
Thabet said he would file a claim with the public prosecutor’s office and would document formal complaints with the National Press Authority and the Journalists’ Syndicate against Kamel over his claims.