Appeal against Shura Council setting criteria for newspaper editors postponed

The administrative court postponed on Sunday two appeals against the Shura Council’s decision to set the criteria for selecting state-owned newspapers’ chief editors to 10 July. This is so documents can be submitted and reviewed.

The appeals were submitted by Mahmoud Nafady, head of the Journalists Syndicate’s association of parliamentary editors, and Gamal Fahmy, a member of the syndicate’s board.

Numerous journalists, including Fahmy and Yehia Qallash, and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali attended the court session.

Defense lawyers called for annulling the Shura Council decision, saying it is illegal and will allow the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party to control state-run newspapers, since the party dominates a majority of the council’s seats.

The syndicate’s board earlier held an urgent meeting on the issue, after a request by five board members. Several syndicate members said the timing of opening nominations was political and aimed at diminishing journalistic freedom.

Journalists staged several protests before the syndicate to denounce the criteria set for selecting chief editors.

The Shura Council may soon be dissolved by a court ruling stating that political parties ran for seats allocated for independents as well as those set to be contested by parties in the parliamentary elections.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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