By Mohammad Ba’li
Albawaba.com – Cairo
Six Egyptian newspapers have decided to halt printing as of March 31 if the authorities remain intransigent regarding lifting a ban imposed on Asha’b newspaper.
The paper, the mouthpiece of the Islamist opposition Labor Party, has gained court rulings ordering the government to allow its reopening.
The papers’ support for Asha’b was announced Thursday at a press conference held by the freedoms committee at the Press Associations, whose chief, Magdi Hussein, is the editor-in-chief of the banned paper. The papers will take turn in refraining from printing.
The six papers are: Al Haqiqa - which will not be out on March 31, Al Arabi on April 1, Al Osbou’ on Aril 2, Afaq Arabiyya, Al Qarar and Hadith Al Madina on April 4.
The papers’ decision came after the Parties’ Affairs Committee at the parliament, dominated by the ruling National Party, decided that the court rulings should not be interpreted in favor of newspaper.
Asha’b’s legal consultant said at the presser that the committee’s ruling was “a matter of legal bullying.”
Meanwhile, a stage-in by six journalists protesting against their paper’s management entered its second day and has attracted international concern.
The journalists are working for Egypt’s Al Aalam Al Yawm. They started Wednesday an open sit-in at the Press Association offices in Cairo in protest against what they called “arbitrary measures taken against them by the paper’s administration for the past three months.
The journalists had been suspended after they backed colleagues from the computer department who went on strike when the administration cut a bonus customarily distributed on the occasion of Eid el Fitr.
The journalists claim that the company has used armed guards who forcibly barred them from entering their place of work pending an investigation.
They said that the internal investigation was assigned to a retired police Lt. General, who threatened to refer their case to the State Security Intelligence. He even filed a complaint against them at police station accusing them of inciting the newspaper employees to go on strike, according to the journalists.
Furthermore, the protestors announced that if the administration does not respond to their demands, they will start a hunger strike. They demand that the company pay them their frozen salaries and end their suspension.
Efforts to settle the issue by the association’s head of the freedoms committee, Magdi Hussein and legal consultant, Sayyed Abu Zeid, have failed – Albawaba.com