The Egyptian Journalists Syndicate’s investigation committee decided, at its meeting on Tuesday, to refer Dr. Hala Mustafa, the editor of the Democracy magazine (part of the Al Ahram institution), and Siraj Hussain, the deputy editor of October magazine, to the syndicate’s disciplinary body.
The reason the committee stated, is that these two journalists “violated the decision of the [syndicate’s] general assembly to proscribe normalization with Israel.” This came after the syndicate summoned the two journalists and listened to their statements on the ‘normalization’ charges that they were accused of. Mustafa had received the Israeli ambassador in her office in Al Ahram and Hussein made several visits to Israel – estimated by some journalists to range between 25 and 45 visits.
A number of Egyptian journalists complained to the head of the syndicate, Makram Mohamed Ahmed, in June, about the normalization activities of Hala Mustafa and Hussain Siraj, and demanded Siraj’s referral to the disciplinary body on charge of violating the general assembly resolution of 1980 to stop normalization with Israel.
Egyptian journalists accuse the current head of the Syndicate and others of encouraging normalization. They believe that traveling to Occupied Palestine to cover events “is not considered an act of normalization, and that if journalists traveled with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, for example, to cover the ministry’s news, there will be no need to hold accountable those journalists doing their job, which is contrary to what was done by Hala Mustafa, as she is said to have conducted agreements with the Israeli side on organizing seminars to be attended by Israeli journalists and officials.
The Syndicate’s disciplinary body had previously dismissed journalists, but there are suspicions the latest normalization case would end up with a reprimand of the defendants only.