By Menna Mourad
A group of journalists along with sympathisers staged a protest in front of Al-Tahrir newspaper’s office today for not being hired along with 30 of their colleagues.
Protesters chanted slogans against Ibrahim Eissa and the newspaper’s administration. Mona Selim, one of the protesters, said that only 30 journalists were hired instead of 50 and that the standards for hiring were not clear.
Selim claimed that the nine journalists who left the Al-Dostour Al-Asly newspaper were given a verbal commitment by the Press Syndicate and Eissa that they will be hired in any future endeavor. She added that they will not allow anyone to discredit their call for their rights as being a political move against Eissa.
Eissa has since submitted his resignation this morning, as confirmed by Ibrahim Mansour, Al-Tahrir newspaper executive editor. Amr Badr, one of the journalists who joined the protest in solidarity asked: “Why has he resigned? Is his resignation in solidarity or a threat to the journalists that their newspaper will be closed?”
Badr has also filed a complaint against the newspaper and Eissa with the Press Syndicate for removing his name from the writers’ banner. Mansour responded by saying that the administration has the right to restructure the newspaper and that the syndicate has no authority in this regard.
Mansour added that the hiring process is being done in several stages and that those who were excluded from the first stage will be hired in the second; however, he said the protesters want to be hired immediately.
The protest ended with Mahmoud Badr, a protester, saying that they will not give up their rights and that they will follow those who have wronged them wherever they go.
Reactions from activists have varied. Nawara Negm, a renowned writer and activist expressed solidarity with Eissa and announced that she will stop writing for Al-Tahrir newspaper as long as he is not editor-in-chief, whereas Ahmed Douma and Rasha Azab criticised Eissa and his sympathisers on Twitter.