The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) hailed the strike action taken on 10 June by Egyptian journalists in response to the call made by the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate’s (EJS) Freedom Committee, to stop work in protest of the stifling of press freedom, the rampant mass sacking in several medias, the worsening working conditions and the continued jailing of journalists.
“Journalists working in newspapers all over Egypt have taken strike action in defiance of a recent supreme administrative court ruling which declared that “strikes violate Islamic jurisprudence and the goals of Islamic law”. This was a brave gesture not just in defense of the rights of journalists but all Egyptian workers.” said IFJ president Jim Boumelha.
On the day, hundreds of journalists gathered in at the union’s headquarters in the biggest protest by journalists seen in many years. They carried banners condemning the imprisonment of journalists and arbitrary dismissals and a coffin symbolising the death of press freedom. In recent months, several newspapers were stopped by the authorities for carrying controversial news, and some editors of newspapers have been questioned over the content they published.
In addition, an official EJS delegation filed a dozen requests to the Egyptian Attorney General asking him to release imprisoned journalists.
EJS General Secretary, Gamal Abdalrahim, held a press conference summarising the events of the day in which he thanked the support of the IFJ to the Egyptian syndicate, as well as of the dozens of journalists’ unions from around the world which declared their solidarity with the EJS.
“The action of Egyptian journalists and their union received a huge echo amongst IFJ unions many of which sent them messages of support. We called on our member unions as well as the global workers’ movement not just to show solidarity on the day but join the effort to help them defeat this obscurantist and vindictive ruling,” said Abdalrahim.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries
Follow the IFJ on Twitter