Journalists start second round of hunger strikes
Courtesy: Ahdaf Soueif Twitter

A group of journalists announced another round of hunger strikes, against the Protest Law and in solidarity with hunger striking detainees, according to a statement posted on their Facebook page.

The Journalists Against the Protest Law group said 13 of its members started a sit-in and hunger strike inside the Journalists’ Syndicate between September 21–22 in a display of solidarity, while also demanding that the Protest Law be amended to regulate protests, not ban them.

The group called on other journalists to join the hunger strike and sit-in, as well as collect signatures to petition against it.

The statement said that eight journalists and researchers in Germany are entering a hunger strike at the same time as the Egyptian journalists.

The group also announced their solidarity with Mahmoud Nasr, a journalist arrested earlier this month on an assignment in Ismailia, under claims that he was sentenced to 10 years in a maximum security prison for protesting in the Alexandria train station following the Badrasheen rail disaster, which killed 19 people, last year.

The group said it is studying escalating its campaign against the Protest Law, “which violates the rights of journalists and citizens alike.”

The journalists called on the syndicate to take action to protect the journalists affected by this law, and launch a professional campaign demanding its amendment and presenting alternatives that guarantee the rights to live and free expression.

The group of journalists had started a hunger strike last week denouncing the Protest Law and in solidarity with hunger-striking detainees languishing in prisons, also launching a sit-in at the Journalists’ Syndicate.

They later suspended their hunger strike following a court’s decision to release Alaa Abd El Fattah, Mohamed Nouby and Wael Metwally on LE5,000 bail in the ongoing Shura Council case.

The “We are Fed Up” movement, which was started by hunger-striking detainees in August, has been gaining momentum as more and more detainees have launched hunger strikes to demand justice. Others outside prisons have also joined in solidarity.

The Freedom to the Brave campaign called on “advocates and supporters of freedom of expression, democracy and human rights” around the world to join the campaign by going on “symbolic” hunger strikes as well.

The campaign documented 167 cases on hunger strike, 103 of whom are in detention, on September 19.

Egyptian-American Mohamed Salah Soltan, son of Muslim Brotherhood leading figure Salah Soltan, has been on hunger strike for the longest period so far, having been refusing food for 240 days now.


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