The head of the Shura Council has appointed Al-Sayed Al-Bably as the new editor-in-chief of Al-Gomhuria newspaper, despite the former editor demanding to be reinstated.
Ahmed Fahmy appointed Al-Bably after dismissing Gamal Abdel-Rehim last month.
However Abdel-Rehim said he had received a court ruling re-instating him as the editor-in-chief of the state-run newspaper. “The Shura Council refused to implement the court’s orders,” he said.
Abdel-Rehim said he plans to take futher legal action after Al-Bably was appointed as his replacement on Tuesday. “I will file an urgent lawsuit at the Administrative Court,” Abdel-Rehim said. Abdel-Rehim was dismissed after running a front page story stating that Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, former commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and former Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sami Anan were to be added to a no-fly list.
Abdel-Rehim did not accept this was the real reason for his dismissal however. “It is a matter of settling scores… I published a lot of interviews attacking the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said. Fahmy is a member of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Brotherhood.
In addition, Abdel-Rehim, also a member of the board of the Press Syndicate, said its head, Mamdouh Al-Wali, had not been supportive of him.
“He was on the side of the Shura Council and against me because he belongs to the Brotherhood,” Abdle-Rehim said.
Human Rights lawyer Ahmed Ragheb said from a legal perspective, the Shura Council has the right to dismiss Abdel-Rehim as the body that appoints the editors-in-chief of state-run newspapers.
“However, he has received a court order reinstating him as the editor-in-chief,” Ragheb added, saying that the recent move taken by the Shura Council circumvents the court rulings.
Ragheb expected that Abdel-Rehim would receive another court ruling giving him the right to return to his old post. However, “so long as there is no political will or adherence to court rulings, things will keep spiraling, just like during Mubarak’s time,” Ragheb said.
The secretary general of the Press Syndicate, Karem Mahmoud, said the syndicate will support Abdel-Rehim’s new lawsuit. He added that the board of the syndicate will consider taking measures to have Al-Bably investigated for violating journalistic ethics of by accepting the post.
The issue of Abdel-Rehim’s dismissal was raised repeatedly during the general assembly of the Press Syndicate on Sunday, where there was a clear division between the members, indicative of the general polarisation across the country caused by President Mohamed Morsy’s controversial constitutional declaration on Thursday.