IFJ urges Egypt to drop charges against journalists' leaders

Egyptian photojournalists raise their cameras during a demonstration outside the Syndicate headquarters in Cairo on May 3, 2016 on the occasion of World Press Freedom day, a day after police stormed the headquarters of the journalists' association and arrested journalists Omar Badr and Mahmoud al-Saqa for alleged incitement to protest. © KHALED DESOUKI / AFP PHOTO

Tagged in:

TOP NEWS, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Arab World, News, News, MIDDLE EAST, Campaigns

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), representing 600,000 journalists worldwide, today urged the Egyptian authorities to immediately drop the charges leaders of the Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate (EJS) who face accusations of "harbouring fugitives."

EJS President Yahya Qallash, Vice President Khalid el Balshi and General Secretary Gamal Abdulrahim were questioned by police in Cairo for 14 hours Sunday to early Monday morning about allegations of "harbouring fugitives in the union´s offices." Earlier this month, Opens external link in new windowthe police stormed the union´s headquarters and arrested journalists Omar Badr and Mahmoud al Saqa, accusing them of incitement.

A judge in Cairo today morning granted EJS' leaders bail of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (1,000 USD) each but they refused to pay. As a result, they journalists will remain in jail for four days pending further investigations after which they may re-appear before the judge.

"These are outrageous charges against the union and its leaders and should be dropped immediately," said IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. ¨Falsely accusing press freedom defenders, charging them and sending them to prison can only happen in an oppressive police state and Egypt is behaving like one."

The IFJ further renewed its international solidarity with Egyptian journalists who are standing up for press freedom and union's rights in the country.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Follow the IFJ on Opens external link in new windowTwitter and Opens external link in new windowFacebook

Opens external link in new windowSubscribe to IFJ News



Please enter valid email address
Please enter valid name
If you don't see one of your comments, that means that it is not moderated yet or it has been rejected.