Lawyers, journalists support Al-Masry Al-Youm against Interior Ministry threats

Khaled al-Balshy, chairman of the Journalists' Syndicate’s Freedoms Committee, said on his Facebook page on Sunday that the Interior Ministry's response to the Al-Masry Al-Youm report entitled “Holes in the Police Uniform” is a violation of the freedom of the press.
He wrote that the paper based its information about police officers charged with torture on documented evidence, including reports from the National Council for Human Rights, and official complaints, adding that the ministry considered the report a false accusation.
The Lawyers' Syndicate said in a statement that the report defends rights and freedoms, which is consistent with the directives of the president to the Interior Ministry.
North Cairo Syndicate Chairman Mohamed Othman said the report relied on facts and figures from official records, which absolves the paper of any penalty. He added that the Lawyers' Syndicate will stand by Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Othman said the ministry's filing of a complaint with the prosecutor general against the paper is but a means to silence people and hide facts from the public, stressing that lawyers, who deal most with the Interior Ministry by virtue of their job, have been subjected to serious violations, the most recent of which was the torturing of Karim Hamdy to death by State Security officers.
Negad al-Borai, head of the Lawyers & Consultants Group, said that the state has not changed after the January revolution and that the Interior Ministry still thinks it is untouchable. “The ministry must investigate what is in the report and publish its findings,” he said.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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