IFJ Calls on Egyptian Authorities to Reinstate Suspended Editor in Chief

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 Al 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


For more

information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 05
The IFJ represents more

than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries