The Egyptian press behind bars Release the press syndicate

May 30th, 2016 by Editor

The Egyptian press behind bars

Release the press syndicate

The Egyptian Organization for human rights is voicing its solidarity with the press syndicate and calling for an immediate release for the head of the journalists` syndicate and the secretary general of the syndicate and the under-secretary-general of the syndicate.

As the down town prosecution decided to summon Yehia Allash – head of the journalists` syndicate- Gamal Abd Al Rehem- the secretary general of the syndicate- and Khaled Al Balshi – under-secretary-general of the syndicate- to make their statements under being charged with concealing two journalists who were fugitives from an apprehension order and disseminating false news concerning the storming of the press syndicate by the police forces to arrest Amr Badr- journalist and Manhmoud Al Saqa – Journalist as an apprehension decision was issued against them from the general prosecution of Shobra Al Khema. The Downtown prosecution had heard their statements till the late morning of Monday 30/5/2016 under Article no145/penal code and the Egyptian court of cassation stipulates in its decision no.302/39 issued in 25 Nov 1921 the necessity of a positive materialistic support which wasn’t committed by any member of the press syndicate.

As the two defendants went to the premises of the press syndicate before everyone’s eyes as the syndicate isn’t a private place or a workplace limited to the members of the syndicate on contrary it considered to be a shelter to all the journalists and the syndicate council isn’t authorized to prevent any journalist or worker in the radio or television from entering the syndicate’s premises or expelling them. In addition, none of the syndicate’s members supported the defendant by any mean such as directing them to a certain place to hide with this the material basis of the offence is considered to be  failed.

Moreover, the duties of the syndicate’s council aren’t supposed to be arresting the defendants wanted by police or the general prosecution. Additionally the apprehension order wasn’t addressed to the syndicate officially till the decision of the general prosecution was issued and they were released with bailment but they refused to pay this bail.

In this context, EOHR stressed on the restrictions and violations exerted upon the journalism such as arresting journalists due to expressing their opinions and such restrictions weren’t stopped even after the occurrence of 25th Jan and 30th June revolutions.

Therefore, EOHR affirms the necessity of improving the freedom of expression and opinion generally in Egypt by releasing all the arrested journalists who were charged with expressing their political opinions also EOHR confirmed the necessity of amending the legislative structure concerning the freedom of opinion and freedom of expression that didn’t witness any amendment concerning the freedom of journalism.

On this point, EOHR calls for respecting the freedom of journalists along with introducing a code of honor organizing the journalism activities and practices and at the same time preventing any violations and restrictions on journalism.

 

On his part, Hafez Abu Seada- head of EOHR- explained that the freedom of journalism in any country is considered to be the key indicator on the human and general freedoms .therefore the freedom of journalism must be guaranteed and protected in reality as what mentioned in the international covenant on human rights and the Egyptian constitution.

On the Other Hand, Abu Seada stated that investigating three of the syndicate’s members will be considered as a deathblow to the freedom of Unions’ activity and it’s the first time to happen in the history of journalism in Egypt. Moreover, it’s not reasonable or believable to charge the head of the syndicate and two members of the press syndicate council with hiding 2 journalists in the premises if the syndicate which is a public place for all journalists without discrimination. Additionally the action taken by the head of the syndicate was legally valid – this action was sticking to the law organizing the union activities which states that the police forces can enter the premises of the syndicate only in the presence of a member of the Department of Public Prosecutions – and that wasn’t the case in this incident. Notably that the official report filled by the syndicate deserves these investigations at first.

Consequently, Hafez Abu Seada calls for an immediate release for the for the head of the journalists` syndicate and the secretary general of the syndicate and the under-secretary-general of the syndicate especially under the freedom of belief, thought, expression and opinion guaranteed under the Egyptian constitution/2014 that abolished the penalty of detention for the offences related to expressing the journalists’ opinions or their work practices.

 

This entry was posted on Monday, May 30th, 2016 at 5:57 pm and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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