Dozens of MPs from the parliament’s Media Committee met on Tuesday with board members from the Press Syndicate to discuss attempts to reach a resolution in the stand-off between the syndicate and Interior Ministry.
The meeting was held at the syndicate’s headquarters. The MPs called on the syndicate board to be more “flexible” while dealing with the situation. The dispute between the syndicate and the ministry has entered its second week and remains unresolved.
The meeting, which was closed to the press and the public, was held in “a friendly atmosphere”, according to a source in the syndicate. However, it did not reach a solution to the crisis.
The decisions and demands of the syndicate’s general assembly meeting last Wednesday, which included the interior minister’s resignation and an apology from the presidency for storming the syndicate’s headquarters on 1 May, stirred controversy as pro-state media and journalists called for dissolving the syndicate’s board.
The journalists have accused the board of “polticising” the syndicate.
The Ministry of Interior has remained defiant since the beginning of the crisis while the presidency has yet to comment.
Two fronts of journalists have called for an emergency general assembly meeting, one to oppose the list of demands and to oust the current syndicate board and the other to validate support.
The calls were made following some major newspapers’ refusal to act on the demands made during Wednesday’s assembly, which included redacting the front page of Sunday’s issues.
The syndicate on Sunday announced a meeting of the general assembly that was supposed to be held on Tuesday but would be postponed in light of the aforementioned reactions to Wednesday’s decisions.
Representatives of doctors, lawyers and engineers syndicates will join a protest planned at the Press Syndicate headquarters on Thursday in solidarity with the journalists’ sit-in.
Dozens of journalists announced a sit-in on 1 May following the storming of the syndicate’s headquarters by security forces, during which security forces arrested two journalists from inside the headquarters.
The incident enraged the press community, prompting a general assembly meeting at the syndicate last Wednesday which saw historic turnout and reiterated previous decisions by the syndicate board and journalists to continue the sit-in.