Journalists Go On Strike, Misr 25 Channel Staff Starts Sit-in
Journalists and media personnel organized a massive protest in front of the Journalists Syndicate Saturday afternoon condemning the arrests of six “Misr 25” TV channel media personnel and assaults on 20 journalists from different newspapers including "Al-Badil", "Al-Watan", "Al-Masry Al-Youm" and "Al-Tahrir" during their coverage of Abbassiya clashes.
At the forefront of the protest was Rapporteur of the Journalists Syndicate’s Freedoms Committee Mohamed Abdel Qudous, Former syndicate chief Salah Abdel-Maqsoud, Misr 25 TV Channel Manager Hazem Ghorab, Freedom and Justice newspaper Editor-in-Chief Adel El-Ansary and other journalists for different press institutions including IkhwanOnline, Freedom and Justice newspaper, Al-Karama newspaper, Misr 25 channel, and Journalists for Reform movement.
Misr 25 TV Channel Manager Hazem Ghorab announced the start of an open sit-in in front of the Press Syndicate in defense of their innocent coworkers.
"We will not accept their detainment without charge", Ghorab said. "Is doing one’s duty and holding a microphone and camera a crime?" Ghorab asked, adding: "If it is, we want to see the law articles that support that".
Ghorab added that their coworkers were badly humiliated as revealed in audio and visual documentations. Ghorab requested an apology from the military police to the Egyptian people and media considering the ruling Military Council (SCAF).
Ghorab emphasized that this humiliation will not be taken lightly as the beating was obviously on the head and back of the necks of media personnel who showed their press identities, according to Egyptian TV. Ghorab pointed out that, "The channel’s media personnel were not alone in their brutal plight, but also a number of other papers from other news agencies were assaulted and arrested – an unacceptable approach altogether after the revolution. We call on the world’s media professionals to join us in our protest".
Rapporteur of the press syndicate’s Freedoms Committee and press syndicate Board Member Mohamed Abdel Qudous condemned the arrest of coworkers inside Noor Mosque in Abbassiya, considering it a violation of the mosque’s sanctity.
Abdel Qudous announced the Board’s leaning towards boycotting SCAF’s news until all journalists and detainees are released, suggesting the same decision would be taken by other establishments. Abdel-Quddous further requested a clear apology from SCAF to the Syndicate and all press professionals who were harmed while performing their duty.
Journalists Syndicate Ex-Deputy Chief Salah Abdel-Maqsoud condemned SCAF, affirming his solidarity with all photographers, journalists and correspondents, describing them as heroes doing their duty which is exercising the society’s "right to know" according to the law.
"Instead of celebrating World Press Freedom Day, we have these atrocities. Instead of maintaining Egypt’s progress in world press ranking, Egypt quickly lapsed back under SCAF’s recent actions, after we thought the era of detaining journalists was over, in post-revolution Egypt", Abdel-Maqsoud added.
He further described the Abbassiya events as a lapse in the principles of freedom, rule of law, and in the efforts to provide sufficient guarantees for press personnel to perform their roles as witnessed in the January 25 revolution.
Abdel-Maqsoud called on the General Prosecutor, SCAF Head, Morale Affairs chief, and Speakers of the People’s Assembly and Shura Council as well as lawmakers to intervene and put an end to this tragic episode.
Journalists for Reform movement affirmed that it was unacceptable after the revolution to detain journalists for no crime for 15 days, except that they expose the truth about SCAF transgressions against Egyptians at the Ministry of Defense.
The movement announced its full solidarity with the Misr 25 TV channel team, photographers and journalists from Al-Masry Al-Youm, Al-Watan, Al-Tahrir, and Al-Badil, especially since their arrest took place inside Noor mosque with complete disregard of the sanctity of the place. The movement also held SCAF responsible for the detainees who until now have not been released.
The movement further called for a protest on the steps of the Journalists Syndicate, Sunday, in solidarity with journalists and media workers who were detained and assaulted and whose cameras were confiscated during the events.
The movement also invited their released coworkers or those who were exposed to any assaults throughout the clashes to come forward to reveal what they were exposed to by the military police.