5th July 2009
The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue expresses its great concern and worry regarding what the journalists of Al Badeel Newspaper have been exposed to of wasting their moral and material rights according to the policies of the board of the newspaper (according to the statement issued by the journalists of Al Badeel Newspaper who sit in at the headquarter of the newspaper). These policies led to issuing a resolution by the General Assembly held on Saturday 4th July 2009 to resolve the newspaper because of this financial crisis faced by it recently. The resolution has resulted in the layoff of 120 journalists who worked in the newspaper among them 92 assigned journalists who lost their financial rights which means they were arbitrarily dismissed.
The newspaper journalists organized an open sit-in at the headquarter of the newspaper as they protested the request of the board of the newspaper calling the half of the assigned journalists (56 journalists) to resign as a condition to reissue the weekly edition. The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue has sent a fact finding mission to the headquarter where the journalists sit-in, the mission met some of them among whom was Mr. Khaled Al Balshey, the editor chief of the newspaper who said that the General Assembly met and decided to layoff the journalists when we were preparing for organizing a peaceful demonstration in front of the Journalists Syndicate to express their situation in regard to the arbitrary resolutions against the journalists. Mr. Khaled added that the journalists of the newspaper supported the newspaper in its financial crisis and offered to cede half of their main salaries in turn for returning the weekly issue and that some of their colleagues have negotiated to intervene some investors to solve the financial crisis when the board of the newspaper demanded that these negotiations should be confidential and after two months the board announced the failure of these negotiations claiming that the investors are not serious. Now they will be in an open sit-in till they get all their rights stated by the law of the Journalists Syndicate to pay at least 12-month salary for each journalist in case of resolution.
Mr. Said Abd El Hafez, the chairperson of the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue, declared that the Journalists Syndicate should play more effective role in addressing this case which comes within a series of violations against Egyptian journalists’ rights because of the lack of legal umbrella which protects their rights. Moreover, these incidents strongly reflected the condition of some Egyptian newspapers which became hostage of the power of capital in turn for ineffective performance.