Reda Edward, the new chairman of prominent independent daily Al-Dostour, said he would not discuss the demands of the paper’s reporters–scores of whom are currently staging an open-ended sit-in–with the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate.
“The paper's problems should be discussed internally,” he said. “I didn’t lay off a single reporter for them to stage sit-ins outside the syndicate.”
“The newspaper's management welcomes the reporters back, as long as they don't interfere in the administration of the paper–just as management refrains from interfering in editorial policy,” he added.
Twenty-nine human rights organizations, meanwhile, have rushed to express solidarity with Al-Dostour journalists. Rights groups called for resisting a government “conspiracy” to stifle independent media in the run-up to next month's parliamentary elections.
According to Mohamed Abdel Qaddous, rapporteur for the syndicate's freedom committee, the paper’s former chief editor, Ibrahim Eissa, and its former executive editor, Ibrahim Mansour, will hold a conference at syndicate headquarters next week in order to discuss the problems faced by the newspaper.
Eissa, a vocal critic of government policies, was abruptly sacked last week.
Syndicate board member Gamal Fahmy, for his part, described Edward’s refusal to consult the syndicate as "an affront."
Translated from the Arabic Edition.