29 March 2014

Egypt: Journalists Stage Sit-in At Syndicate to Protest Colleague's Death

Cairo — Hundreds of journalists staged a sit-in on Saturday evening at the Journalists Syndicate to denounce what they called the targeting of journalists during field work.

The protest comes a day after Mayada Ashraf, a journalist at the Dustour Newspaper, was killed while covering violent clashes in Cairo.

The journalists went into the syndicate building and declared their strike, an Aswat Masriya witness reported.

Participants at the sit-in urged their colleagues to go on strike and provide no coverage of events until the Journalists Syndicate and other bodies take action and until the Interior Ministry pledges to not target journalists.

They also called for holding an exceptional general assembly for the syndicate to withdraw confidence from Diaa Rashwan, the syndicate's head.

Dozens gathered on the syndicate's front stairs and carried some banners with Mayada's name on them and others that denounce the targeting of journalists, an Aswat Masriya witness said.

The participants chanted against Diaa Rashwan and accused him of failing to take action to protect journalists, the witness stated.

They also chanted anti-Interior Ministry slogans and accused the ministry of targeting journalists, he added.

Mayada Ashraf was shot in the head on Friday while covering pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations in Cairo's Alf Maskan area.

The Interior Ministry accused Brotherhood elements of killing her.

Rashwan has sent a letter to Egypt's Justice Minister to demand an immediate investigation in the journalist's death, the Middle East News Agency reported.

Rashwan also sent another letter to Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat, urging him to keep the syndicate up-to-date with the latest updates in the investigation.

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