Journalists protest colleagues' trial

Daily Star Egypt Staff
2 Min Read

CAIRO: Several dozen journalists protested in Cairo Thursday in solidarity with three colleagues charged for denouncing alleged fraud in the country s legislative elections in November. Wael Al-Ibrashi and Hoda Abu Bakr from the weekly independent Sawt Al-Umma and Abdel Hakim Hamid, editorial director of the weekly Afaaq Arabiya, which is close to the Muslim Brotherhood, are due to appear in court on Sunday. Three journalists are in the courts for wanting to tell people the truth, journalists union president Galal Aref said outside the union s offices. We must all show solidarity to secure their acquittal. We refuse to accept that our colleagues are considered criminals, in the same league as drug traffickers, said Mohammed Abdel Khaleq from the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. The main charge against the three journalists is that they published a list of judges implicated in cases of presumed fraud during the elections. Two reformist judges, Mahmoud Mekki and Hisham El-Bastawisi, were summoned before a disciplinary board in April for having demanded an inquiry into the implication of several of their colleagues. Mekki was cleared but El-Bastawisi was given a reprimand. The opposition in Egypt launched a massive show of support for the two judges, who found themselves the symbols of democratic reform in Egypt. The demonstrations were put down violently by riot police. AFP

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