Egypt: ANHRI Condemns the Assault On the Journalist in the Office of Their Head of Syndicate!

press release

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces assaulting number of journalists by security members of Ahram Foundation in order to disperse their sit-in in the office of the head of the journalists Syndicate and the chairman of the board of Ahram "Mamdouh Wally".

An independent group of the staff who work in independent and partisan newspapers met Mamdouh Wally in his office in Ahram in February 9, 2013 in order to solve their problem as their newspapers were stopped from working and salaries were suspended in addition to the syndicate intransigences to give them the unemployment allowance stipulated in its executive regulation. The journalist asked him in his capacity as the head of the syndicate and in his capacity as the head of the committee to make the supreme council of the press to review their problem in order to issue a recommendation redistributing them on working in the national company of distribution according to suggestions which were previously discussed and it received a prior consent. Despit "Wally" showed his consent but he persisted on in the procrastination of signing this decision more than one time, before he leaves the meeting without a clear result, which made the journalists to take the decision of beginning a set-in in the same place of the meeting.

Therefore, "Wally" called Boluaq Abou-Ela police, in which he allegedly said that they attempting the invade his office and when the warden of police station to the place, he refused to disperse the set-in using force and left the place without answering their demands of providing protect to them after they were threatened of using the force against them by the security members of the foundation, which was actually happened, as they were surrounded the room and turned the light off, then they were assaulted, beat, dragged and swore at them before they get them out of the building by force.

The protesters filed a report to Azbakiah police station under no. 12/ status on February 10, 2013, in which they have said that the warden of Boulaq Abou-Ela police station refrained from providing protection to them and the have filed a report, no. 488 of 2013, to the attorney general in which they have accused "Wally" and the security employees in Ahram foundation of inciting to murder and harassing the journalists in addition to put their life into risk by beating, dragging and kicking. They have accused the warden of Boulaq Abou-Ela of not executing his job duties and colluding in putting the life of the journalists into risk through refraining from providing protection to them.

ANHRI said that "the head syndicate resort of using force to disperse the set-in of a group of his colleagues in which his post forces him to defend their interest and protect their rights is a very serious precedent. As his colleagues waiting from who is in this position to defend the right to expression and peaceful protest, of all kinds which include the set-in. He should deal with their demands by integrate way and to reach its solution. As his direct assault on such rights are a double crime, as he must held accountable by the syndicate in addition to the legal penalties".

ANHRI values the position of the public prosecution to investigate the report and demands from the journalists' syndicate to investigate the fact too. The supreme council of the press demands to review the appropriate committee as a result of the capacity of neutrality isn't existed in the current head, as he is a party in a legal dispute against who filed the complaint. ANHRI calls the minister of interior to conducted an internal investigation in the fact of refraining the warden of Boulaq Abou-Ela from doing his job as the law and his duty oblige him to provide protection to the journalists.

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