An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced the leader of the journalists’ union and two of its board individuals to two years in jail and a fine of 10,000 pounds (around $650) each for hiding two wanted writers. The decision against Yahia Qalash, the leader of Egypt’s press union, and board individuals Khaled el-Balshy and Gamal Abdel-Rahem, comes following a seven-month trial. The Committee to Protect Journalists denounced the conviction, saying the decision is a “punishment” and called upon powers to guarantee that columnists work without dread of response.
The case started in April, when security struck the syndicate to capture two writers, who were wanted over dissents against the president’s choice to exchange Egyptian sway of two vital Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. The move irritated columnists. They organized dissents and requested the inside priest’s abdication, and additionally a presidential statement of regret. Rather, Qalash and two others were confined and charged for harboring the men that were wanted inside the press syndicate building.
Following the judge’s decision, substantial security were sent to the central command of the syndicate in downtown Cairo, in the midst of calls for challenges. Later in the day, many columnists arranged a sit-in outside the syndicate and droned trademarks, for example, “Are we in a state or a wilderness?” Courts have since struck down and revoked el-Sissi’s choice to exchange the islands to Saudi Arabia.
Additionally on Saturday, a Giza Court sentenced in absentia three TV moderators to three years in jail each, on charges of spreading false news, irritating open security, and actuating partisan strain. The three hosts, Mohammed Nasser, Moatz Matar, and Hisham Abdullah, are vocal el-Sissi faultfinders and expected to be pro-Islamist. Their TV shows are on el-Sharq network, which is said to be financed by Qatar and broadcast from Turkey. Turkey and Qatar are adversaries of Egypt’s el-Sissi, offering shelter to pioneers and individuals from the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood assemble, from which removed President Morsi hails.