Egyptian Journalists Cry Foul

By Meleasie Goviro – EM TV International

As the world celebrated World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday, Egypt’s press syndicate held a news conference to denounce the recent arrests of journalists in Cairo.

Egyptian police raided the press syndicate in Cairo and arrested two journalists who criticised the government.

A number of journalists began a sit-in inside the syndicate later that day to protest against the raid.

The interior ministry confirmed it had arrested the journalists Mahmoud El Sakka and Amr Badr who work for the opposition website Bawabet Yanayer, inside the syndicate.

Journalist and Dostour Party spokesman Khaled Dawoud said the raid was illegal.

“The interior ministry violated the laws organizing the entry to the headquarters of the press syndicate. Article number 70 of our internal laws states that in case police wants to enter the building, they have to seek the permit of the head of the press syndicate and he has to be present or to send a representative. This was not respected at all,” he said.

The press syndicate condemns the government’s actions and is now demanding that the country’s interior minister resigns.

“As the world celebrates [World Press Freedom Day], the syndicate has been cordoned for several days and thugs continue to wait outside of its entrances and exits, and that’s a tragedy, not only for the security apparatus, but a national tragedy, because this is not a brawl between the syndicate and security, but with all of Egypt, and we should know that very well,” Dawoud said.

According to Dawoud, other professional syndicates from doctors, engineers, and lawyers to name a few were equally angry and had all issued statements of soliditary with them.

“They’ve all issued statements of solidarity with us. And we’re going to continue our sit-in here until our demands are met, topped with the resignation, or the removal of the interior minister for violating the law and violating the headquarters of the press syndicate and the release of our two colleagues, Amr Badr and Mahmoud al-Saka, who were arrested while being here at the press syndicate,” Dawoud said. 

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