Egypt: Press Syndicate Files Complaint On Storming of Headquarters

Cairo – Egypt’s press syndicate filed a complaint on Monday with the public prosecution on the details of security forces’ storming of the syndicate’s headquarters on Sunday.

Security forces stormed the syndicate to arrest journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud al-Sakka, in what the syndicate described as an “unprecedented” incident.

Prosecution accused the journalists of inciting protests, attempting to overthrow the regime and broadcasting false news with the aim of disturbing public peace.

The public prosecution said in a statement that prosecutors ordered the arrest of nine people, including the two journalists, after police investigations implicated them in “publishing false news and rumours and exploiting them to incite protests through social media networks [Facebook] in coincidence with Sinai Liberation Day on Apr. 25”.

The syndicate said in a statement that the interior ministry resorted “to spreading rumours and publishing false news instead of facing the truth and recognising the crime it [the ministry] committed”.

Interior Ministry however denied earlier on Monday storming the syndicate’s building or using force to arrest the two journalists. A ministry statement said that the journalists handed themselves in and that all the arrest procedures took place within the framework of the law.

But the syndicate said that about 40 security personnel stormed inside the syndicate and assaulted the syndicate’s two people tasked with securing the syndicate’s building.

The syndicate stressed that “the only way to address this crisis and to stop the escalation is to recognise the facts… and to stop all attempts to circumvent the truth by broadcasting false information propagated by the Interior Ministry in a desperate attempt to hide the crime it committed in broad daylight and in front of a wide audience of the syndicate’s members.”

The board of the press syndicate called for an emergency general assembly meeting on Wednesday to discuss the incident and demanded the sacking of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar.

SOURCE: Aswat Masriya