Egyptian Chronicles

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Why was it an important day in Cairo on Wednesday !?

It was an important day in Cairo. Yes, it was an important day at Egypt's Journalism Syndicate on Wednesday.
You got not less than 3000 journalists showing up in the morning to attend an urgent general assembly meeting.
Usually , the general assembly meeting during the elections of the board fails to attract that number and yet despite all the threats and odds journalists went.
They went despite that disgusting campaign in the Pro-regime TV channels against journalists and their syndicate.
Egyptian journalists outside the syndicate because there was no place inside
"Ayman Hafez"
They went despite those thugs and hired Pro-Sisi supporters who came on buses to make another siege around the Journalists syndicate in addition to the existing security siege.
The journalists went despite the thugs hurled bottles , gave them the finger and insulted them in the worst way ever.
The thugs giving the journalists the finger outside the syndicate
"Abdel Rahman Ansary" 

They went to their syndicate after passing several security checkpoints to show their Syndicate memberships to the police officers.
From the photos I have seen and from the testimonies of my colleagues who are lucky enough to be members of the syndicate , most of those who came were the young generations.
It is not a surprise because after all the younger generations are actually the majority of the Egyptian people.

Older generations including very famous veteran journalists and authors did not show up.
Maybe, this is why the decisions or demands taken were much bolder than anyone could expect.
Already it was the journalists who insisted that the Egyptian Presidency should apologize to the syndicate and the journalists, not the board.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Big Day at Egypt's Journalists syndicate

The showdown between Egypt's Journalists syndicate and the Ministry of interior continues for the Third day in a row as things escalate.
Egyptian journalist syndicate protest
I am a journalist and not a terrorist
"Yahia Qallash's official Facebook page" 
On Tuesday , the General prosecution became involved deeply and politically in the crisis when it issued a statement imposing a media gag order on the case of journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El-Sakkah.
The Prosecution also escalated the crisis by directing possible charges to the head of Egyptian Journalists syndicate Yahia Qallash.
The syndicate is calling its members for the a General assembly meeting whereas the Security forces are still imposing a security siege around the syndicate and its streets allowing only the syndicate supporters of the regime or rather its thugs are allowed to protest there.
Here is quick live coverage for that important day.

Seen in Cairo: Egypt's Journalists syndicate

Egypt's Journalists syndicate

The famous graffiti Journalists syndicate in Cairo commemorating the martyrs of Egyptian journalism after the 25 January revolution : Al-Hussainy Abu Daif and Mayada Ashraf. 
Via Instagram

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Happy World Press Freedom Day Dear Egypt !! "Updated"

What a way to celebrate World Press Freedom Day 2016 in Egypt !??
This is how we celebrate it in Egypt: Two journalists were detained pending investigations, there is a media gag on the storming of the syndicate and journalists are not allowed to their syndicate on the World Press Freedom Day because they are not members even if they were only sent to cover the press conference there !!
Earlier Monday , the Egyptian prosecution decided to detain journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El-Sakka 15 days pending investigations on charges of "plotting to overthrow the regime" , "spreading false news" and "plotting to suspend the constitution" !!!
Egyptian journalists protest at their syndicate on Monday by AP

I understand the part concerning "spreading false news" which is related on how both Amr Badr and Mahmoud Sakka published articles about how Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian islands.
Interestingly, the Prosecution is accusing them of spreading rumors through their website "Yanair" News Portal which means we are speaking about publishing-related crime as well freedom of expression-related crime.
Yanair News portal published that the two islands are Egyptian in the same way state-owned newspapers like Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar newspapers published that the two Red Sea islands are Saudi !!
What I truly do not understand here are the charges of "plotting to overthrow the regime" and a "plot to suspend the constitution" !!!!
Badr and Sakka are the latest Egyptian journalists to be in detention. We are having a breaking record here because according to estimation we got over not less than 20 Egyptian journalists and photographers detained according to Committee to Protect Journalists.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy Sham El-Nassim 2016

Happy Sham El-Nassim
via  Instagram

Happy Sham El-Nassim from Egypt to the whole world. We are supposed to celebrate our National and oldest spring Feast today but as a journalist and blogger , I am following what is taking place at Egypt's Journalists syndicate.
I was supposed to publish a pictorial post about my visit to the Egypt's Annual Flowers show 2016 but I got busy in the syndicate and that escalation happened last night.
Anyhow , here is another photo from the Flowers show 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016

And Egypt's security stormed Journalists syndicate on Mayday

And not any syndicate , it is the Egyptian journalists syndicate.
Oh yes , from a couple of hours ago it was announced that security forces stormed the Journalists syndicate in Cairo to arrest two journalists who were having a sit-in inside the syndicate.
The news is confirmed by the head of the syndicate, journalist Yahia Qallash who stated that at least
50 Egyptian police personnel wearing plainclothes stormed the syndicate to arrest journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El-Sakka attacking the syndicate's security.
Journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El-Sakka at the syndicate
on Saturday carrying #Journalism_is_not crime
by Mohamed El-Raay
Both journalists Badr and El-Sakka were having a sit-in at the syndicate to object the arrest warrants issue for them and how their houses were stormed by security forces twice in the past weeks. Amr Badr , the Nasserite founder of "Yanair" news portal and Mahmoud El-Sakka, who works a journalist in the same portal are officially accused a number of charges above them spreading rumors about Tiran and Sanafir being Egyptian in the ongoing crackdown against political activists.
Yes, both Badr and El-Sakka are arrested as part of the current crackdown because of Tiran and Sanafir.
Egypt's ministry of interior is saying that it did not storm the syndicate and that only 4 police officers entered the syndicate peacefully. It  even added that El-Sakka and Badr left the syndicate willingly.
The ministry also says that both Badr and El-Sakka are not members of the syndicate to justify what happened.
I do not know about El-Sakka but Amr Badr ran for the Syndicate's board in the last elections.
Now we are speaking about a new level of escalation in the crackdown as it is unprecedented and illegal.
Oh yes, it turned to be illegal to storm or raid the syndicate like that without the presence of the Prosecution representative and the head of the syndicate must be there according to articles 69,70 and 71 of the current Journalism law in Egypt.
This is the first time in the history of the 75-years old syndicate something like this happens.
Today is the Mayday and on Tuesday, we will celebrate the International Press Freedom Day.
The worst irony of all is that the Egyptian journalists syndicate is celebrating its 75 anniversary this month !!
Earlier Sunday , already security forces locked down the Journalists syndicate street to end the Mayday conference planned there for fear of protests.
The journalists syndicate and its staircases have returned to become Egypt's only safe venue for protests after the Protests law.
The Journalists syndicate has been under security siege since 25 April already.
Most of the Egyptian journalists are furious.
The head of journalists syndicate, Yahia Qallash is demanding President El-Sisi to intervene and to dismiss the minister of interior.

Happy Orthodox Easter

Happy Orthodox Easter to all Orthodox Christians all over the world celebrating it especially in Egypt.
Holy Fire at Holy Sepulchre
A photo that was taken on Saturday during
the Holy Fire ritual at the Church of Holy Sepulchre "AFP"

Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Those detainees related numbers speak about huge problem in Egypt now

The Front to Defend Egypt's protesters "FDEP" issued a very alarming statistics on Thursday about political detainees arrested in the past two weeks by security forces over Tiran and Sanafir islands.
On April 25 , Egyptian protester hiding in Massaha square from security
forces "by Mohamed El-Shahed/Getty Images" 

According to the grassroots movement made to defend protesters in Egypt after 2011 , in the past two weeks not less than 1200 people were arrested in Egypt because of Tiran and Sanafir islands.
Here are the numbers the Front published in Front's statement :
  • 1277 cases of arrest and detention have been recorded from 15 to 27 April 2016 in 22 governorates , specifically at 91 police stations.
  • 1277 documented cases of arrest include 577 arrest cases that  have been officially charged and referred to the prosecution , 618 arrest cases that have been released without charges and 81 unknown cases as their legal situation is unclear.
  • Most cases were documented on 25 April where 711 cases of arrests have been counted then on 15 Aril with 386 cases ,22 April with 87 cases and 24 April with 37 cases.
  • When it comes to age pattern , 1225 adults have been reportedly arrested vs. 52 juveniles arrested
  • 1170 were males and 107 were females.
These numbers are from 15 April to 27 April. The numbers were updated earlier 28 April.

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