salama - File photo
CAIRO - 16 JUNE 2017: The Board of Directors of the Press Syndicate opened an inquiry Thursday into pro-Muslim Brotherhood channels’ live broadcasting from the syndicate’s downtown Cairo headquarters of a protest and sit-in against the Tiran and Sanafir transfer deal.
The syndicate’s decision came during an urgent meeting to discuss how reporters from Al Jazeera, Mekameleen and al-Sharq were allowed to broadcast live from the syndicate during Tuesday’s protests organized outside the headquarters against the controversial deal which hands sovereignty of the two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
In a statement, the Board of Directors said all journalists and syndicate members should follow syndicate regulations to “prevent others from taking any political gains.” The board stressed its “complete respect” for the right to freedom of expression, especially as a journalists; however, this should “be within the frame of the law and constitution,” the statement said.
On Tuesday, a sit-in was organized by number of journalists and political figures amid ongoing controversy over the transfer deal.
The deal, originally inked by Saudi Arabia and Egypt’s leaders in April 2016, announced Saudi sovereignty over the two islands, located at the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba. The deal has faced significant opposition and even spurred lawyers to file a lawsuit against the government before the Administrative Court to annul the deal.
Two different court rulings have been issued regarding the agreement. The first, issued by the Supreme Administrative Court in January, nullified the agreement, while the second verdict, issued in April by the Summary Proceedings Court, ruled for its validity.
To settle the judicial dispute, the deal was referred to the Supreme Constitutional Court, which is the last judicial entity to consider it. It is also being discussed in Parliament.