Sunday, May 1, 2016

And Egypt's security stormed Journalists syndicate on Mayday

And not any syndicate , it is the Egyptian journalists syndicate.
Oh yes , from a couple of hours ago it was announced that security forces stormed the Journalists syndicate in Cairo to arrest two journalists who were having a sit-in inside the syndicate.
The news is confirmed by the head of the syndicate, journalist Yahia Qallash who stated that at least
50 Egyptian police personnel wearing plainclothes stormed the syndicate to arrest journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El-Sakka attacking the syndicate's security.
Journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El-Sakka at the syndicate
on Saturday carrying #Journalism_is_not crime
by Mohamed El-Raay
Both journalists Badr and El-Sakka were having a sit-in at the syndicate to object the arrest warrants issue for them and how their houses were stormed by security forces twice in the past weeks. Amr Badr , the Nasserite founder of "Yanair" news portal and Mahmoud El-Sakka, who works a journalist in the same portal are officially accused a number of charges above them spreading rumors about Tiran and Sanafir being Egyptian in the ongoing crackdown against political activists.
Yes, both Badr and El-Sakka are arrested as part of the current crackdown because of Tiran and Sanafir.
Egypt's ministry of interior is saying that it did not storm the syndicate and that only 4 police officers entered the syndicate peacefully. It  even added that El-Sakka and Badr left the syndicate willingly.
The ministry also says that both Badr and El-Sakka are not members of the syndicate to justify what happened.
I do not know about El-Sakka but Amr Badr ran for the Syndicate's board in the last elections.
Now we are speaking about a new level of escalation in the crackdown as it is unprecedented and illegal.
Oh yes, it turned to be illegal to storm or raid the syndicate like that without the presence of the Prosecution representative and the head of the syndicate must be there according to articles 69,70 and 71 of the current Journalism law in Egypt.
This is the first time in the history of the 75-years old syndicate something like this happens.
Today is the Mayday and on Tuesday, we will celebrate the International Press Freedom Day.
The worst irony of all is that the Egyptian journalists syndicate is celebrating its 75 anniversary this month !!
Earlier Sunday , already security forces locked down the Journalists syndicate street to end the Mayday conference planned there for fear of protests.
The journalists syndicate and its staircases have returned to become Egypt's only safe venue for protests after the Protests law.
The Journalists syndicate has been under security siege since 25 April already.
Most of the Egyptian journalists are furious.
The head of journalists syndicate, Yahia Qallash is demanding President El-Sisi to intervene and to dismiss the minister of interior.
Khaled El-Balshy , the head of the Freedoms committee in the syndicate is demanding an urgent meeting for the syndicate's board.
Even Pro-Sisi journalists from the big names are expressing their anger.
Close to the Presidency as well to the army , Yasser Razk claimed on TV that the Egyptian Presidency aka President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi did not know that the ministry of interior or the security forces would storm the Journalists syndicate.
The editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar newspaper also claimed that the Presidency was against what happened and that he held those responsible for what happened accountable.
This is even worse !! I mean claiming that the president does not know what is happening in his country is a scandal.
I know in the end of the day both Magdy Abdel Ghafer and Sharif Ismail will take all the punches.

After journalists began to speak , the ministry of interior ended that security siege around the syndicate as it was banning the non-members from entering its street in Downtown Cairo.
Now, tens of journalists and human rights activists began a sit-in at the syndicate.
The beginning of the sit-in by Hadeer Makkawy
They also started a small protest outside the syndicate chanting against Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Interior minister.
At the journalists syndicate
At the Journalists syndicate from couple of hours by Ahmed Harbia
At the journalists syndicate
Journalists and activists sitting at the famous staircase.
by Hadeer Makkawy
Journalists and activists protest at Journalists syndicate
by Wael Mamdouh
Journalists chanting here against state security at the syndicate after midnight.
ONTV Live and CBC are transferring on air the protest but muting the voices.
Several political parties like Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Strong Egypt Party and Constitution Party declared their rejection for what happened and solidarity with journalists. A Couple of MPs like Haitham El-Hariri also declared their solidarity.
In other words, the same usual Pro-25 January group.
The Lawyers syndicate declared its solidarity with the Egyptian journalists syndicate.


It is 2:21 AM Monday , the Egyptian journalists syndicate announced that it was starting an open sit-in till the dismissal of the minister of interior Magdy Abdel Ghafer and the release of Egyptian journalists currently detained.
The syndicate also holds responsible for what is happening.
Here are the rest of the photos from the Midnight protests at the heart of Downtown Cairo.

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