Egypt

LIVE UPDATE: Lawyers support Syndicate’s thousands of attendees, emergency assembly take measures

After the emergency meeting of the General Assembly, thousands of journalists staged an on-going sit-in calling for an end to the siege imposed by security forces around the syndicate headquarters.
 
The number of journalists who attended the Journalists Syndicate headquarters to participate in the emergency General Assembly continued to increase throughout Wednesday afternoon.
 
A number of editors-in-chief of state-run, private, and partisan newspapers attended as well.
 
Lawyers there to show solidarity with journalists removed metal railings put across the surrounding streets by police to open the roads for attendees. 
 
The lawyers chanted, "Long live the struggle of journalists" and "Lift the siege".
 
As a result of the General Assembly, the editors-in-chief of newspapers called for newspaper print to be suspended on a yet to be chosen day, as a means of protest against Sunday's Journalists Syndicate storming.
 
They also called for gradual escalatory measures, including the blacklisting of policemen implicated in attacks against journalists, and the introduction of a policy to not publish any news about the Interior Ministry in newspapers.
 
During the emergency General Assembly held on Wednesday at the syndicate's headquarters, Chairman of the Journalists Syndicate Yehia Qalash said that the Interior Ministry's attitude prevented a political solution to the crisis of the detained journalists.
 
The syndicate's board called for the emergency assembly for journalists at the headquarters on Wednesday to discuss the storming of the syndicate by policemen on Sunday. Thousands of journalists flocked to the headquarters earlier on Wednesday to take part.
 
Meanwhile, dozens of lawyers staged a protest outside the Lawyers Syndicate, located next to that of the journalists. Security troops banned lawyers from entering to express solidarity with the journalists.

Gamal Abdel Rahim, the Journalists Syndicate Secretary General, earlier said that no voice should be louder than that of the General Assembly, which will convene to tackle the issue.

“There’s no alternative than the dismissal of Interior Minister Magdy abdel Ghaffar. There’s nothing melodramatic about this request. Storming the syndicate is a historically unprecedented phenomenon since its establishment,” he added.

The security forces opened the roads for a march of dozens of opponents to a sit-in staged by journalists at the Journalists Syndicate headquarters in downtown Cairo, Wednesday morning.
 
The march headed to the syndicate's headquarters as participants chanted pro-regime slogans like, "Slaughter [them] Sisi".
 
Dozens of journalists have been holding a sit-in at the syndicate, started on Sunday, against the police's storming of the syndicate to arrest two journalists. In Sunday's unprecedented storming, a group of armed security officers entered the syndicate headquarters and arrested Amr Badr, editor-in-chief of yanair.net, and a journalist working for the same news website named Mahmoud al-Sakka. Both had been issued with warrants by the State Security Prosectution on charges of "inciting protests" following several weeks of anti-government demonstrations centered around the transfer of two Red Sea islands from Egyptian to Saudi control. 
 
An emergency General Assembly has been scheduled for Wednesday by the syndicate to decide on measures to take against the incident.
 
Contrary to the anti-syndicate march, journalists staged their own march on Wednesday morning to demand the removal of metal railings put up around the syndicate by security forces. The march stopped at the syndicate's gate on Ramses Square.
 
Champollion street and Abdel Khaleq Tharwat street, which lead to the Journalists Syndicate, have been blocked off by metal railings since Sunday, and security forces have been preventing journalists without a syndicate ID from accessing the headquarters.
 
In a leaked email sent mistakenly from the Ministry of Interior to its press mailing list on Monday, the ministry stressed the importance to garner public support against the syndicate. 

The email read, "It is crucial to gain the favor of public opinion immediately in order to combat the syndicate's stance. This can be achieved through promoting the idea that the syndicate and its members want to be above the law and will not answer for their crimes. We should also point out that there is a portion of the public that supports the ministry's stance and is critical of the syndicate. This portion must be utilized to gain more support from the wider public. Here we must differentiate between what the public thinks and what is being said by media outlets."

 

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button