Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate debates protest chants

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

CAIRO: A row has erupted between members of the Journalists Syndicate following the cheers against President Mubarak during last week s anti-Bush protests, reported the press.

During a recent four-hour session, clashes occurred between Chairman of the Syndicate Makram Mohamed Ahmed and head of the organization s Freedoms Committee Mohamed Abdel Qoddous.

The syndicate voted to remove Abdel Qoddous if he allows political protests, especially by opposition movement Kefaya, to take place on the syndicate s stairs again.

Ahmed told Daily News Egypt that the protests were originally supposed to be against the President Bush’s visit.

He added that there was no respect for the syndicate during those protests and that some people, especially Kefaya members, turned the protest into one against Mubarak without the syndicate s permission.

“They broke every democratic value the syndicate tries to promote, he said.

The chairman explained that the meeting resolved not to allow any of these mistakes to happen again.

Abdel Qoddous said that Ahmed was sympathetic to the government and that was why he wanted to suppress the opposition.

Moreover, Mohamed El Baz, writer and journalist for El Fajr newspaper, explained that Ahmed objected to hateful protests which violate regulations.

“I think that Makram is right. Hurling insults and being completely out of order during protests is not right for the syndicate, he said.

He added that the problem with Abdel Qoddous was that he got too involved in the demonstrations.

Due to the numerous protests that have happened recently many journalists face jail sentences or are imprisoned.

“Why put responsibility on the syndicate and insult Mubarak? said Ahmed.

He added that some journalists need the help of the government to overturn the jail sentences, so the syndicate has to reach agreements to help them.

El Baz argued that Ahmed sees the Journalists’ Syndicate as an objective institution battling for the rights of journalists, and not a political organization.

“The syndicate has to solve those problems and this is the reason why Makram chose to oppose and clash with Abdel Qoddous. The position he took is reasonable, said El Baz

Two days of protests are planned on the stairs of the Journalists’ Syndicate this weekend. Those on Saturday will be to support the Palestinian cause, while those on Sunday will be against the low income of journalists.

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