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Thousands of Egyptian Journalists demand that Interior Minister be dismissed

Journalists protest against restriction on the press and to demand the release of detained journalists, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Staff

Journalists in Egypt are pressuring the government to dismiss the country’s Interior Minister, Magdy Abdel Ghaffar.

This is sequel to the arrest on Sunday of two reporters, Amro Badr and Mahmoud Saqqa, who work for the site yanair.net.

The two were placed in custody on Monday for 15 days on charges of “inciting protest” and for rallying support for “the fall of the regime.”

The journalists’ union on Wednesday called a meeting at the union headquarters, which was attended by hundreds of practitioners.

Reading the outcome of the meeting, the Vice President of the journalists union, Karem Mahmoud, said: “We demand that the presidency deliver a clear apology to journalists over the crime of raiding the syndicate.”

“We also demand the sack of the interior minister as he is the main (person) responsible for the crisis,” he added.

The meeting voted to call on newspapers to print blank front pages and stop using Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar’s name.

They also decided to hold a meeting next week to discuss organising a strike if their demands were not met, union officials said.

The arrests forms part of moves by Egyptian authorities to quell rising dissent against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to reports.

Human rights campaigners have accused President al-Sisi of repressing all forms of opposition.

Union officials described the police action as the first raid on the organisation in its 75-year history.

The latest Press Freedom index released by Reporters Without Borders showed a decline in press freedom in Egypt.

The country dropped in its ranking by one place to 159 out of 180 countries.


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Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

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