Head of Journalists Syndicate demands investigation of police violations

Yehia Qalash, head of the Journalists Syndicate, said he is sending letters to the Interior Minister and the Prosecutor General demanding investigation into abuses against journalists. He is also requesting that all detained journalists be kept in one place.
“Violations especially against correspondents have escalated,” he said.
Syndicate Secretary Khaled al-Balshy said there currently are 33 journalists behind bars.
The Journalists Against Torture observatory monitored in its July 2015 report 53 violations against journalists while doing their job, with 16 violations in the first week of July, five in the second, four in the third and 28 in the fourth.
The report said these were the cases detected, which does not mean there were no other violations.
It said there were 16 incidents of preventing journalists from covering events, 10 detentions, 10 physical assaults causing injury, six arrests on charges, three cases of damaging or burning equipment, two prison sentences, two fines, two threats and two stormings of press offices.
The observatory recorded 18 cases of professional damage, 18 moral damages, 10 physical injuries, five material damages and two prosecutions.
It said the Interior Ministry alone committed 26 violations, followed by 14 cases by civilians, five cases by private security companies, four cases  by government agencies and officials and four cases by judicial authorities in the form of imprisonment sentences and fines.
It said 30 violations were recorded in Cairo, followed by 15 in Giza, five in Alexandria and one in each of Qaliubiya, Daqahliya and Monufiya.
The Syndicate’s Freedoms Committee is holding a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the case of press photographer Mahmoud Shoukan, who has been in prison for two years, the conditions of all other detained journalists and the fact that detention pending trial or investigation has become a punishment in itself.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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