The Press Syndicate’s board called syndicate members for a conference on Wednesday to discuss the offshoot of the police raid which took place on 1 May. An ongoing conflict between the syndicate and the Interior Ministry is yet to be resolved following journalists’ persistent demands to dismiss minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar.
Syndicate board member Hanan Fikry told Daily News Egypt on Sunday that the conference aims to gather the maximum number of journalists who are members of the syndicate in order to give them the chance to lay out possible solutions to the crisis.
The conference was supposed to take place on Tuesday, but a dissident group of pro-state journalists who launched a counter-initiative to the syndicate’s rebellion against the police, announced they will hold a meeting on the same day—an attempt seen by some as aimed to undermine journalists’ mobilisation in the syndicate.
“As so, we decided on Saturday to postpone our conference for the next day for two reasons. First, we will not be the cause of a split between journalists. Second, by selecting a different day, we highlight the idea that the syndicate is home for all and we do invite every member to attend and hope to have as much input as possible,” Fikry stated.
She further said that during the past week, the syndicate calmed its tone when objecting state security practices against journalists and opened different communication channels with state institutions to show goodwill and seriousness in reaching a solution.
Nonetheless, there has been no response on behalf of the government and presidency. This is in addition to a meeting held between the syndicate and MPs last week, which was also inconclusive and not representative of aspirations to address journalists’ issues.
Fikry asserted that there has been no further communication from the parliament with the syndicate’s board members, concluding that the decision on the upcoming step is now entirely in the hands of the journalists who will attend Wednesday’s conference.
This comes as the syndicate previously announced it would staging an indefinite protest and sit-in in defence of journalists’ dignity which it said was a red line in the face of repeated assaults on press freedom.