Egyptian Journalists to Strike for Press Freedoms

The Egyptian Journalists Syndicate's general assembly threatened a general strike to retaliate against Morsi's sweeping decree.

Rachel Hirshfeld ,

Mohammed Morsi
Mohammed Morsi
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The general assembly of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate on Sunday voiced its rejection of President Mohamed Morsi's constitutional declaration and threatened to stage a general strike in retaliation against the Egyptian president’s sweeping decree.

"The general assembly announces its total rejection of the latest decisions issued by the president," Gamal Fahmi, member of the syndicate's executive board, shouted to hundreds of journalists at the syndicate's downtown headquarters, according to Ahram Online.

The president's decisions "represent naked aggression against general freedoms, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary," he added.

On Thursday, Morsi issued a decree making all his decisions immune from legal challenge for a six-month period.

"The president can issue any decision or measure to protect the revolution," according to the decree.  "The constitutional declarations, decisions and laws issued by the president are final and not subject to appeal," it added.

The decree protects the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist-led Constituent Assembly, which is tasked with drafting a new constitution. It also protects the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, from dissolution by court order.

Fahmi announced that the syndicate planned to stage a general strike if its proposals were not included in Egypt's draft constitution. “The people want the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood,” journalists chanted, according to AFP.

Morsi’s declaration was widely condemned, both nationally and internationally, as a blatant "attack on democracy."