15 journalists started an open-ended hunger strike on Saturday, denouncing the Protest Law and calling for a new “fair and transparent” law to regulate protests in Egypt, reported privately owned Al-Shorouk Newspaper.
The journalists, who started their strike at the Journalists Syndicate, stated on Facebook that freedom of expression through protesting or writing is a right they should be at the forefront of defending.
The strike will last initially until September 15, when the second retrial of the Shura Council protestors is scheduled to take place. If the journalists’ demands are not met, they will then consider escalating their strike.
“We are talking about a professional matter, as journalists are among the most debilitated by this law in their coverage of protests and marches,” the journalists said in their statement, adding that they are still paying the price of such restrictions.
The journalists on strike are: Mostafa Bayouni, Iman Ouf, Viola Fahmy, Amr Badr, Mohamed al-Garhy, Abdel Meguid Abdel Aziz, Lobna Moneeb, Rehab al-Shazly, Ashraf Gehad, Hend Nafei, Shaima Hamdy, Abdel Rahman Khalil, Walaa Salah and Mona Selim.
The protesters called upon their fellow journalists to join the “battle” and issue an official statement demanding a new law that protects the right to live and peaceful freedom of expression.
Detained activist Alaa Abd El Fattah and his younger sister, 20-year-old Sanaa Seif, started a hunger strike against the law and their detention following the death of their father Ahmed Seif al-Islam. Their mother Laila Soueif and sister, human rights lawyer Mona Seif, later joined their hunger strike in solidarity from outside prison.
130 people are currently on hunger strike, 60 of who are in detention, many for charges or accusations related to the controversial Protest Law.