CAIRO: Egyptian newspaper Youm7 opened an investigation Tuesday into its photojournalist Amany al-Akhras per a request by the Journalists Syndicate for allegedly reporting a fellow photojournalist to the police, an accusation she denies.
The Journalists Syndicate banned Akhras from entering its premises Monday, as dozens of journalists protested outside the syndicate in downtown Cairo to release Ahmed Ramadan, a photojournalist at Tahrir newspaper. He was detained Sunday during a trial of former President Mohamed Morsi, and released Monday on a bail of 5,000 EGP ($630.)
Youm7 released a statement, noting that it would “follow rules of transparency and fairness,” and would not end the career of Akhras unless damning evidence is available. Akhras she denied reporting her colleague during a verbal questioning with senior editors at the newspaper.
Youm7, the most-read news website in Egypt, which also has a daily print edition, requested the Journalists Syndicate to provide the evidence it claims that triggered sending an official letter to Khaled Salah, Youm7’s editor-in-chief, requesting an investigation into the matter.
Akhras told an officer publicly that Ramadan was “a member of the Muslim Brotherhood,” prompting the police to arrest him, according to several people who were at the trial, posting their accounts of the incident on Twitter on the spot.
She has been slammed on social media by activists, fellow journalists and TV anchors since then. She was accused of being a “spy journalist” for the police, who reports the activities of her colleagues. The accusations included receiving several forms of support from the police, and that the practice has existed in Egyptian newspaper for a long time.
The protest of the journalists also called for the release of photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zaid, known as Shawkan, after serving the maximum pre-trial detention of two years.