CAIRO: Security officials ordered the removal of Abdel Halim Kandil’s weekly editorial in Sout Al-Omah, an independent weekly newspaper, last Sunday and replaced it with an advertisement, Kandil confirmed to Daily News Egypt.
He said that both he and the publisher were contacted by security officials at Al-Ahram print house where the newspaper is printed, and threatened to ban the whole issue unless the editorial was pulled.
“There was no officially written notification, he added.
“The publisher left the decision in my hands and because I appreciate my readers and staff, I agreed to remove the editorial to put the paper out, Kandil said.
“My newspaper was granted a license by the Higher Press Council which means that nobody has the authority to monitor our newspaper except for the legal system. But because we are living in a police state, anything can happen, he said.
The censored editorial was titled “Those who brought shame to Egypt and criticized the Egyptian regime’s handling of the war on Gaza.
Kandil said that it was published on the Hamas website, and was downloaded and sent to many people by email.
On the other hand, Makram Mohamed Ahmed, head of the Journalists’ Syndicate, said that the syndicate did not receive any official complaint from Kandil regarding the issue, and said that he was unaware of the incident.
“The Syndicate cannot take any steps until the complainant files an official investigation request, he said.
Kandil, however, refuses to file any requests, adamant that the Syndicate should have reacted on its own accord.
“What happened to me has a direct effect on the dignity of Egyptian journalists and requires an immediate reaction from the Syndicate, Kandil said.
“I didn’t expect anything from Mr Chairman anyway because I know he won’t do anything because he represents the regime, Kandil said, adding that Ahmed had reacted similarly in previous situations.
Internal conflicts seem to be ripping through the Journalists’ Syndicate, with Yehia El-Alash, the Syndicate’s secretary general submitting his resignation due to disagreements with Ahmed’s leadership methods.
Ahmed confirmed that he had received El-Alash’s resignation and plans to accept it if he refuses to reconsider.