Sign up for weekly updates

Egypt urged to reinstate suspended newspaper editor

(IFJ/IFEX) - 29 October 2012 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today expressed grave concern over the suspension of Jamal Abdel Rahim, editor in chief of daily El Joumhouryia, by the Chairman of the Egyptian Shura Council. The suspension came after the state-owned paper published news on the travel-ban of former defence minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and General Sami Anan, both under investigation for corruption.

The Egyptian Journalists Syndicate (EJS) has strongly condemned the suspension, describing it as "a dangerous precedent and a violation of both the Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate law and the Press and Publications law". It also said the decision was a flagrant aggression against the authority of the union as the only body authorised to investigate professional misconduct, in accordance with Article 34 of the Press Law. The Shura Council will discuss the case during its session at the beginning of November, and take a final decision.

The IFJ considers the government's interference in journalists' affairs as deplorable. "We support the Egyptian Syndicate and the journalists in their fight against intimidation and interference of journalists' work, and call on the Egyptian authorities to reinstate the suspended editor," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President.

This decision is considered politically motivated, and based on the change of the newspaper's editorial line with the appointment of Jamel Abdel Rahim as editor in chief two months ago. Other newspapers in Egypt - both state-owned and private - covered the same story, prior to and after El Joumhourya's report without being targeted.

The EJS, which is calling for an urgent general assembly on Sunday 18 November to discuss attacks on the press, media independence, the country's new constitution and its media related provisions, said the intimidation campaign against journalists will not deviate journalists from their demands, including: a new Constitution that guarantees press freedom, the abolishment of jail sentences for press offences, an end to newspapers closures, and the creation of a national council that manages the affairs of the press and enjoys full autonomy from the state.

What other IFEX members are saying

Latest Tweet:

Filipino TV news glossing over human rights #Duterte - IFEX @Pakistan_Press @globeinternat @forum_asia @MizzimaNews