Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Egyptian newspapers, TV strike in protest of constitution

From Al Ahram:
Twelve Egyptian newspapers and five TV channels announced that they will go on strike for one day to object to both recently issued constitutional declaration and the draft constitution.

The newspapers will not print on Tuesday and the TV channels will go off-air on Wednesday.

The draft constitution, which was passed on 30 November by the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly and is set to be voted on in a referendum on 15 December, does not include articles against the imprisonment of journalists in cases related to freedom of expression as demanded by journalists.

The Journalists Syndicate's executive council had withdrawn its representatives from the Constituent Assembly in mid-November after its recommendations and suggestions were ignored by the assembly.

Later, the general assembly of the syndicate had threatened on 25 November to stage a strike against the constitutional declaration that president Mohamed Morsi issued on 23 November..

The newspapers that will go on strike on Tuesday include: Al-Masry Al-Youm, Al-Watan, Al-Tahrir, Al-Wafd, Al-Youm 7, Al-Dostour, Al-Shorouk, Al-Sabah, Al-Ahaly, Al-Ahrar, Al-Fagr and Osbooa.

The TV channels that will go on strike on Wednesday, with blank screens broadcasting in place of content, are: ONTV channels, CBC and Modern channels, Al-Hayat Channels and Dream TV channels.

Already on Monday, Al-Wafd newspaper, Al-Youm 7 newspaper, Al-Watan newspaper, Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper and Tahrir newspaper shared the same headline “No to dictatorship” with an illustration showing a prisoner made of newspaper sitting in a dark cell.
The draft constitution itself has verbiage supporting freedom of the press, but it is fuzzy because there is always the caveat that the press must adhere to community standards, which could mean anything.

But before you think that these liberal, secular voices are necessarily the "good guys," here is a poster at one of their anti-Morsi rallies (screen shot from here):

Because even among enlightened, secular Egyptians, there is no worse insult than "Jew" or "Zionist."

(Mohamed ElBaradei lost all his credibility in Egypt by telling a German interviewer that many of the Islamists  are Holocaust-deniers; now he is being derided as "Mr. Holocaust.")

(h/t PTWatch)