Tens of journalists from “the Voice of the Nation” newspaper organized a protest today in front of the Journalist Syndicate protesting against the state security forces terrorising campaign against Heba Gaafar the journalist. The journalist was arrested on the pretext of implementing a judicial rule issued for the police officer from the North Coast Police Station.
The protest included a huge attendance from the media in solidarity with the journalist, while a state of anger was spread among the protestors due to the lack of presence of any members from the Syndicate’s Committee as there was only a statement issued by the Freedoms Committee condemning what happened.
The journalists were chanting slogans against the violations of the policemen and condemning the cases of torture inside police stations and the misuse of the Emergency Law.
Some of the slogans chanted were; “they said freedom, they said law, torture is everywhere in prisons”, “Tell the Minister of Interior, when will you punish the bully”, “O Syndicate of Journalists, where are the rights of journalists?”, banners were also held condemning the violation of the Ministry of Interior and the police officers in different police stations.
For her part, Heba Gaafar described to Ikhwanweb the terror she felt by the dawn visitors and the officers who terrorised her family the whole time while she was getting arrested on Thursday 18th June and taken to Alagoza Prosecution where she was told to pay the outstanding fine of 45,000L.E, which was ruled by the court in a case of defamation raised by an officer in Hadayek Elqobba Police Station, because she published a story describing the facts of him torturing a citizen in the police station.
She stressed that she will not compromise, in order to stop such actions from being repeated with any other journalist and she will submit a complaint to the Prosecutor-General.
In a statement, the Egyptian Journalists Association condemned the efforts of the state to stop people from speaking, restricting freedom of opinion and expression and terrorising the journalists who reveal the violations which take place in the Egyptian prisons and police stations.
The Association announced its full solidarity with Heba Gaafar and regarded the fine extremely steep. Most Egyptian journalists cannot pay such a fine because of the deteriorating professional and financial conditions, especially that the Office of Implementing Provisions in the compound of North Giza Courts insists on making Heba the journalist either pay the fine or work for the police station for a period of time equivalent to the fine, as stressed by an employee in the office, this totally reflects the non-respect of the authorities for the intellectuals as a whole.