Press syndicate files complaint over 'storming' of headquarters

Monday 02-05-2016 09:53 PM

Previous protest in front of the press syndicate, on Apr. 28, 2016. ASWAT MASRIYA / Asmaa Gamal

CAIRO, May 2 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt’s press syndicate said in a statement on Monday that it filed a complaint on Monday with the public prosecution over the security forces’ alleged storming of the syndicate’s headquarters on Sunday.

Security forces raided 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] on 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."

The 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 in line with the law. 

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

The syndicate added in its statement on Monday 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 Ministry of Interior 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.  

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