Youm7 journalists assert ‘arbitrary dismissal’ over objection of Red Sea islands agreement

Three journalists working for privately-run newspaper Youm7 said that the agency’s Editor-in-chief Khalid Salah fired them on Sunday for objecting the recently approved maritime demarcation deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

According to Facebook posts published by the three journalists — Maher Abdel Wahed, Abdel Rahman Maklad and Medhat Sawfwat — Salah called them to a meeting on Sunday and told them they were to take a year’s leave without pay, due to the their stance against the maritime demarcation deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia that stipulated transferring sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.

“[The] Editor-in-chief of Youm7 posed as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and fired us after we refused to accept one year’s leave without pay,” Maklad stated on his Facebook account.

The three journalists added that President Sisi asked Salah to fire all journalists against the deal.

In response to the fired journalists’ Facebook posts, Youm7 said in a news story that it is currently following judicial procedures at the Press Syndicate against the three fired journalists, and accused them of defamation.

The Youm7 story claimed that the journalists were freelancers funded and managed by Iran and Hezbollah.

“The three journalists engaged in a clear conspiracy against the Presidency and Youm7, this conspiracy has been made in cooperation with a media outlet affiliated to Iran and the Lebanese militia of Hezbollah” the Youm7 news story read.

Youm7 is a privately-run online and print newspaper agency, owned by renowned Egyptian businessman Ahmed Abu Hashima, who also owns number of prominent Egyptian television, online and print media outlets, such as ON TV.

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