Popular Current calls for protest against media crackdown

The Popular Current Party joined other activists Tuesday to call for a protest outside the Bulaq Abul Ela Public Prosecution office next Sunday. The demonstration is a show of support for eight members of the media who have been summoned for questioning over their involvement in a Maspero protest for better wages last year.

The eight are being charged with illegally "assembling" and "suspending work." In a statement issued Tuesday, the party said an investigation had already cleared them a year ago and that 150 people had participated in the demonstration.

Several are part of the Popular Current Party, including Ali Abu Homaila, director of programming for the Nile Drama Channel, writer Essam Saeed, director Abdellatif Abu Homaila, director Khaled al-Ashry, presenter Heba Ezz al-Arab, news editor Somaya al-Shennawy and news director Madiha Desouky.

"What is really strange is that [everyone] was surprised with the official summons from Bulaq Abul Ela prosecutors after a year had passed on charges of assembling and suspending work," the statement said.

"Reopening the investigation after [so much time] suggests [they are] targeting those who had claims filed against them, especially those known for their political activism. Some are members of the Popular Current Party and the Maspero Youth Union."

Muzzling activists and punishing them will only cause further unrest, according to the party. Activists will no longer put up with oppression after the downfall of former President Hosni Mubarak, it said.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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