Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Happy World Press Freedom Day Dear Egypt !! "Updated"

What a way to celebrate World Press Freedom Day 2016 in Egypt !??
This is how we celebrate it in Egypt: Two journalists were detained pending investigations, there is a media gag on the storming of the syndicate and journalists are not allowed to their syndicate on the World Press Freedom Day because they are not members even if they were only sent to cover the press conference there !!
Earlier Monday , the Egyptian prosecution decided to detain journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El-Sakka 15 days pending investigations on charges of "plotting to overthrow the regime" , "spreading false news" and "plotting to suspend the constitution" !!!
Egyptian journalists protest at their syndicate on Monday by AP

I understand the part concerning "spreading false news" which is related on how both Amr Badr and Mahmoud Sakka published articles about how Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian islands.
Interestingly, the Prosecution is accusing them of spreading rumors through their website "Yanair" News Portal which means we are speaking about publishing-related crime as well freedom of expression-related crime.
Yanair News portal published that the two islands are Egyptian in the same way state-owned newspapers like Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar newspapers published that the two Red Sea islands are Saudi !!
What I truly do not understand here are the charges of "plotting to overthrow the regime" and a "plot to suspend the constitution" !!!!
Badr and Sakka are the latest Egyptian journalists to be in detention. We are having a breaking record here because according to estimation we got over not less than 20 Egyptian journalists and photographers detained according to Committee to Protect Journalists.

Earlier this year , Mahmoud El-Sakka was arrested by security forces during the crackdown against activists before the 25 January revolution's 5th anniversary.
El-Sakka said after his release from detention that he was tortured. Human rights lawyer Khaled Ali is concerned about his safety now.
On the other hand , the crisis between the Egyptian Journalists syndicate and the Ministry of interior is escalating as the ministry insists despite the witnesses' testimonies that it did not break the law or storm the syndicate on Sunday.
The syndicate board called for a General assembly on Wednesday while it is still insisting on its demands : Dismissal of Magdy Abdel Ghafer, the minister of interior and the release of detained journalists.
The Journalists syndicate's sit-in is still and tens of journalists still protest against President Sisi and interior ministry.
The security forces are still besieging the syndicate and its street.
Pro-regime thugs are also attacking the syndicate.
A thug lady hurling rocks at the syndicate by Mahmoud Abo El-dahab

Updated :

Something strange has happened late Monday or rather early Tuesday when tens of Egyptian journalists found an internal Ministry of interior memo in their e-mail inboxes detailing the strategy of the Ministry and Egypt's Homeland security on how to deal with the current crisis in the media.

The strategy simply to bring the retired generals to speak on TV about how the current syndicate's current board got agenda. The strategy has already started to work in the media.
The email was sent from the same email address used by the ministry's Media and Public Relations department.
A security source told Al-Watan Newspaper that the email was hacked. Later , we found out that that email address was deactivated.
Later , the security forces continued its siege around the Journalists syndicate refusing to let anyone in except the members of the syndicate.
The board of the syndicate held an international press conference Tuesday afternoon declaring that it still insisted that the current minister of interior should be sacked from his position and all detained journalists to be released.
There was a delegation from Doctors syndicate as well From the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and Constitution Party heading to the Journalists syndicate for solidarity on the World Press Freedom Day but the security forces did not allow to pass.
Here is an amazing shot for Dr. Mona Mina, the Undersecretary of Doctors syndicate after being stopped by security forces from entering the syndicate by Photographer Alaa El-Kassass. This photo represents Egypt now in its own way.

The journalists hung a black cloth on the building of the syndicate saying that Journalism is not a crime.
Journalism is not a crime
Journalism is not a crime banner by Dalia Hassouna
After a couple of days, Egypt's House of Representatives is going to discuss the new Press law and things will get even more complicated.
Late Monday , the General Prosecution issued a media gag order on the case of both Amr Badr and Mahmoud Sakka. It did not stop at here .
In a new escalation , the Prosecution accused officially the head of Journalists syndicate Yahia Qallash of aiding and hiding fugitives !!!
The official Prosecution statement The official Prosecution statement
The board of journalists syndicate is holding an urgent general assembly on Wednesday.
Interestingly , Egypt's biggest State-owned newspaper's Op-Ed on Tuesday called for the dismissal of Magdy Abdel Ghafer. It is unusual to see such Op-Ed in Al-Ahram Daily.
People are speculating that Magdy Abdel Ghafer is going to be dismissed soon because Al-Ahram Daily Newspaper won't publish an Op-Ed like that that.
Al-Ahram Op-Ed about Giulio Regeni was also interesting and nothing happened.
We will see if Abdel Ghafer is going to leave or not.
Happy World  Press Freedom Day.

1 comment:

  1. Happy International Press Freedom Day Coupled with Resistance.


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