Egyptian Photojournalists Go On Strike, Demand Better Security

Egyptian photojournalists who are members of the Journalists Syndicate announced that they would go on strike on Friday, calling on the security forces to protect journalists who cover protests.

In a letter addressed to syndicate head Diaa Rashwan which was published online, photojournalists called on their employers and the syndicate to provide them with protective vests and equipment when covering violent events.

The letter cited the dangerous conditions in which photographers have to work and states that insurance companies have stopped insuring the lives of journalists because of the risks they face.

“Security forces prevent journalists and photojournalists from doing their job, fail to protect them, and even in some cases attack them,” the letter read.

The photojournalists also criticised the institutions they work for, saying that they “push hundreds of youth working in the profession on to streets that are full of violence.”

The street violence witnessed by photojournalists, according to the letter, is more dangerous than traditional wars.

“Everyone working from the profession is turning from a ‘truth seeker’ to a live target,” the letter concluded.

Journalist Mayada Ashraf was killed by gunfire last Friday while covering clashes between supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi and police in eastern Cairo.

Reporters Without Borders has called for an independent investigation into the killing, concluding that journalists in Egypt have been “systematically targeted” since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Ashraf is the eleventh journalist to be killed on the job since January 2011, and the sixth to die since Morsi’s ouster last July, the group said.

Source : Ahram online