CAIRO: The Journalists Without Rights movement called on Syndicate Chairman Makram Mohamed Ahmed Tuesday to intervene in a crisis that broke out between a number of reporters and the editor-in-chief of weekly independent El-Nahar newspaper.
Fifteen El-Nahar reporters filed a complaint on July 11 to Ahmed against Osama Sharshar, accusing him of mistreating them, the movement coordinator Amr Badr told Daily News Egypt.
They also filed a complaint at the police station saying that he allegedly threatened to fire whoever complained against him for removing the attendance log to justify firing them.
“[The situation] is an accumulation of several incidents … starting with Sharshar accusing two of our colleagues of stealing a laptop from the office [earlier this month] and filing a report at the police station against them … then punishing those who supported them,” an El-Nahar reporter told Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity.
“However, the syndicate chairman has not taken any measures [or started an investigation] yet,” Badr noted.
Sharshar reportedly insulted the rather “underpaid journalists,” forcing them to pay the full sum of social insurance fees and not covering the newspaper’s share, according to the movement’s statement.
“Other journalists were forced to resign or go on unpaid leave,” another reporter said.
Daily News Egypt contacted Sharshar’s office but his secretary said he wasn’t available for comment.
El-Nahar journalists threatened to hold an open strike in case the crisis is not resolved.
“Such problems reflect what journalists are frequently exposed to at many newspapers,” Badr concluded.