Journalists have agreed not to pay release bails, because they are not supposed to be detained for publishing ‘crimes’ in the first place, according to their legal rights. This was agreed upon in a Monday meeting at the Press Syndicate’s Cairo headquarters, following increased legal pursuit of the press community.
“Journalists demand that the president of the country makes a clear statement regarding the crackdown on press freedom, manifested by officials and state institutions against their rights to free speech and information access,” the meeting outlined.
Journalists also said that, in case they were called in for questioning, there has to be a prior notification to the syndicate. The journalists should also be entitled to request that a member of the syndicate’s council attend investigations with them.
The meeting was held by syndicate head Yehia Qallash and editors-in-chief of local newspapers, in response to the recent conflict with the Ministry of Interior. It also came in the face of the legal prosecution of the editor-in-chief and a reporter from Al-Youm Al-Sabaa newspaper.
The issue of the journalists’ arrests was escalated among journalists, which eventually led the ministry to drop complaints against the two, after initially accusing them of libel by publishing false information.
The meeting also concluded that journalists should be allowed information access, and respect media ethics and accuracy in reporting.