Thursday, February 11, 2010
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Hudson New York
11 February '10
The editor-in-chief of the Egyptian state-run weekly magazine, Al-Demokratiya, Ms. Hala Mustafa and the editor of another Egyptian newspaper, October, Mr. Hussein Serag, are facing undue threats a ban and an actual ban from the Egyptian Journalists Union for advocating normalization of relations with Israel.
Mustafa had earlier created a media controversy in September 2009 after receiving Israeli envoy Shalom Cohen at her home. Ms Mustafa went on to further shock the Journalists Union by saying she does not believe a boycott of Israel helps the Palestinians - and that she does not think unions should impose Israel boycotts. The Egyptian Journalists Union [EJU] had sent Mustafa a letter of protest for having invited the Israeli ambassador, although, earlier EJU had decided to expel her.
In a response to questions by a Western news agency on what action Mustafa would be taking against such actions by EJU, she said that she would go to court to defend her views and her right to speak to whomever she wished. Ms. Mustafa is reported to have claimed that the union’s ruling undermines freedom of the press; she apparently told a news agency that she “totally” rejects the warning that a ban might be imposed on her work, as it has been with Mr. Serag, and may seek legal redress for what she said was a “moral injury. “It goes against freedom of expression … which the union should protect,” she said.
Mustafa was accused of violating a 1985 journalists union resolution that effectively bans members from meeting with Israeli officials or taking any other steps towards normalizing relations. Mustafa has repeatedly urged that the 1985 resolution be revoked. “This resolution was adopted almost 25 years ago. It is high time that it is annulled in favor of encouraging dialogue with the Israelis,” Ms Mustafa said.
(Read full story)
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