CAIRO: A number of journalists called for a strike Wednesday, protesting “deteriorating economic conditions” of journalists and the “arbitrary dismissal” at press institutions, Youm7 reported.
The Journalists Syndicate announced a “symbolic strike” at its headquarters in downtown Cairo, which will involve a report about “arbitrary expulsion” and another on the situation of the jailed journalists.
“Journalists will file demands and reports to the Attorney-General to set the detained journalists free, in addition renewing the syndicate’s previous demands,” said Youm7.
The syndicate’s freedoms committee said the strike will be held under the slogan of “syndical protection – fair salary – no dismissal – no detention.”
Journalists Syndicate Secretary General Gamal Abdel Rehim received Tuesday a solidarity message from International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) President Jim Boumelha showing his full support to Egyptian journalists in their strike.
“The deterioration of journalists’ working conditions in Egypt leave[s] our colleagues in a situation of fear and insecurity that we cannot tolerate,” said Boumelha, according to the federation’s website.
IFJ called on the Egyptian government to ensure that journalists are receiving the “minimum working conditions” that are set by internationally recognized core labor standards.
A collective decision was made to support the strike of the Egyptian journalists June 10 at the syndical IFJ leaders’ meeting held in Tunisia Thursday, reported Youm7.
Boumelha pointed to the ruling issued by the Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court that criminalizes the right to strike. He described it as “a violation to the Egyptian constitution and an opposition to all the international conventions related to labor’s law signed in Egypt.”
Rehim said that the syndicate received a lot of solidarity messages from a number of European, American and Arab syndicates; one of them was from General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ,) Michelle Stanistreet.
Stanistreet announced that she, on behalf of 30,000 members of NUJ in UK and Ireland, congratulates the Egyptian Journalists’ syndicate on their call to strike, Youm7 reported Wednesday.
She stressed on the importance of countering the constrictions imposed on journalists’ freedom, and that the international society should support all journalists who suffer doing job.
Moreover, the National Writers Union (NWU) published a statement on its website Tuesday supporting the June 10 strike; they said “we stand with you and all of our Sisters and Brothers in Egypt and around the world.”
Also, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) announced Wednesday its full solidarity with the journalists in their strike, saying, “democratic societies are measured by to what extent are the press and media free. Hence, it is hard to achieve the press freedom under the deteriorating economic conditions and the growing exposure to arrests owing to their journalistic work.”