IGIHE.com \BB News
Egypt hands journalist union head two years in prison
Published on 19-11-2016 - at 07:27' by Al Jazeera

The ruling on against Yahia Kallash, head of the country’s press union, and two others comes after a seven-month trial.

An Egyptian court sentenced the head of a journalists union and two board members to two years in prison for harbouring colleagues wanted by the law and spreading false news, judicial sources said.

Yahiya Kallash, president of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate, Gamal Abd el-Rahim and Khaled Elbalshy were charged in May with sheltering two journalists wanted over protests against the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Saturday’s decision to sentence the journalists comes as authorities try to quell rising dissent against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The court set bail at 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($615, 580 euros), a court official said.

The journalists’ lawyer, Sayyed Abou Zeid, at the time told the Reuters news agency that they denied the charges, which relate to a May 2 police raid on the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate to arrest two opposition journalists who had sought shelter from arrest.

Kallash condemned the arrests of Mahmoud El Sakka and Amr Badr, which sparked protests from journalists, and issued a statement two days later demanding the interior minister be sacked.

Amnesty International urged the authorities to drop the charges against the union chiefs.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has listed Egypt among the top jailers of journalists, and one of the most dangerous places to report from.

In 2013, five Al Jazeera staff were imprisoned in the country on charged that rights groups said were trumped up. Though an international campaign secured their freedom, there are more than 70 journalists still in prison in the country.

JPEG - 54 kb
The verdict marks the first time for a head of the journalists syndicate to be put on trial

Kwamamaza
Comments

YOUR OPINION ABOUT THIS ARTICLE

RULES AND REGULATIONS:
Do not post comments that are defamatory, divisive and blasphemous.
If you wish to receive a quick response to your opinion/comments, please provide your email address in the space provided.
Your comments will appear after moderation from IGIHE.com.
In case the above regulations are not observed, your comments might not appear or will be deleted. Thank you!