Press syndicate calls for release of journalists

Daily News Egypt
2 Min Read
A photojournalists with his mouth tapped holds up his camera as he demonstrates with fellow colleagues in front of the journalist's syndicate in Cairo against repeated attacks on members of the press in Egypt on April 4, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / MAHMOUD KHALED)

 By Toqa Ezzidin

The Freedoms Committee of the Press Syndicate called for the immediate release of Abdul Rahman Mohammed, a journalist at the national company for distribution, and Sobhy Shoaib after they were arrested on Sunday by “dawn visitors”.

The committee condemned the return of “dawn visitors” who arrested Abdel Rahman and terrorised his family, calling for an investigation into the methods of arrest and the accountability of those responsible.

Deputy editor-in-chief of the privately-owned Al-Masreyoon news network Sobhy Shoaib was also arrested at the same time, but was released on the same day.

Head of the Freedoms Committee Khaled El-Balshy told Daily News Egypt that Shoaib was released, but the prosecution will detain Abdel Rahman for 15 days pending investigations. “We will appeal the decision of his arrest on Wednesday,” El-Balshy added.

On the other hand, the committee warned of the return of “fabricated charges” against journalists, such as “belonging to banned groups” or “violating the constitution or law”.

Furthermore, they called on the general prosecution to stop arresting journalists based on “doubted inquiries”.

Moreover, the committee confirmed that Abdel Rahman and Shoaib are two journalists on a long list of arrested journalists that might reach 33, which requires a serious stance from media groups to halt such arrests and the referral of journalists to criminal courts based on inaccurate inquiries and investigations.

The committee stressed the importance of providing a suitable professional atmosphere for journalists, with journalistic and media legislations to liberate them from constraints.

The arrest of Abdel Rahman and Shoaib took place a few days after the referral of renowned journalist Hossam Bahgat to military prosecution on charges of publishing false news, and the suspension of TV host Azza El-Henawy who deviated from the main script of her show by calling out President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for neglecting internal affairs.

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