Press Syndicate elections most important, definitive in its history: former head

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Former head of the Press Syndicate Diaa Rashwan announced Sunday he will run for the same position during the syndicate’s upcoming elections in March.

“These elections are going to be the most important and definitive in the syndicate’s history, by renewing the institution, issuing new laws, and solving the unprecedented historical crises faced by national and private newspapers in the past two years,” Rashwan stated.

According to a statement he issued, his decision to run is based on months of discussion and meetings with journalists in order “to save the profession from the predicament it is currently in; on one hand due to the stances of some which lacked wisdom and on the other hand policies that wronged the journalists and their great syndicate.”

This comes as Rashwan announced that he will aim to restore the status of the syndicate and the respect for journalists and their profession by seeking their financial, professional, and legislative rights.

Rashwan further mentioned legal freedom guarantees needed for journalists to be able to work, their constitutional right to personal freedoms, and the freedom of peaceful political opinion.

The syndicate will open its doors for candidates to submit their applications starting 11 February. The first round of elections will take place on 3 March, according to the schedule published Sunday on the syndicate’s website.

The syndicate suffered unprecedented assaults in 2016, which culminated in a police raid on the syndicate and the trial of current president Yehia Qalash and two deputies. They were initially sentenced to two years in prison for charges of harbouring wanted suspects—two journalists. An appeals court is still looking into the case.

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