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Egypt: IFJ supports Al-Tahrir journalists

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A copy of Egyptian newspaper "Al-Tahrir" with the headline "No to Dictatorship" is displayed on a car by an Egyptian street vendor selling newspapers on December 3, 2012 in Cairo. A cartoon of a newspaper in human form chained in a cell was pasted on the front of several independent papers including Al-Watan and Al-Masry Al-Youm with the line "A constitution that cancels rights and shackles freedoms. No to dictatorship". AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP)

Brussels, 26th June 2019- Egyptian media company Al-Tahrir is in danger after its website was blocked for unknown reasons and could be insolvent within two months, according to its board. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) stands in solidarity with Al-Tahrir workers and condemns the forced shutdown.

With the vast majority of its revenue coming from its online site the move threatens the future of the company in what activists called the latest attempt to silence critical media in Egypt.

The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression reports that at least 103 news websites have been blocked since May 2017, including the independent media Mada Masr, the privately-owned Daily News Egypt, or the Qatari-owned news agency Al-Jazeera.

The Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate said in a statement published on 24th June : “We reject any violation to the Constitution which prohibits censorship, confiscation, suspension or closure of the media. The board (of EJS) will take all legal and trade union actions to defend press freedom and constitutional rights.”

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We salute the EJS firm stand in defending the social and professional rights of our colleagues at Al-Tahrir. The Egyptian authorities must immediately put an end to its illegal blockage of  Al-Tahrir news site and all other suspended websites in the country.”

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