Press Syndicate Head Says Egyptian Journalists Need Life Insurance

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The head of Egypt’s press syndicate Diaa Rashwan gathered on Wednesday with 45 chief editors to discuss life insurance for journalists, subjected to increased risks while covering recent events in Egypt, according to Aswat Masriya.

Rashwan said that the syndicate has already received an offer from the Misr Insurance Holding Company and that he plans to hold a meeting with them next week.

Another suggestion, he explained, is for every newspaper to contribute to a special fund for the insurance.

Rashwan agreed with the editors that each paper must send the syndicate an updated list of its journalists every three months. The syndicate will then coordinate with a special unit at the interior ministry that will be formed to supervise the safety of journalists.

Journalists have repeatedly complained of being targeted by the police and supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi while covering clashes. The violence has occasionally been fatal to news gatherers.

A 22-year-old female journalist was shot dead in Cairo on 28 March while reporting on clashes between police and Islamists protesting against ex-army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s presidency bid.

Earlier this month, two journalists from privately-owned media outlets were shot while covering clashes between students and riot police at Cairo University.

In response, syndicate head Rashwan called for an indefinite halt on field reporting until “security authorities do their duty in protecting journalists.”

In 2013, the US-based NGO Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Egypt as the third-deadliest country in the world for journalists. Egyptian journalists have staged several protests calling for protection while on the job.

Egypt has been rocked by violence since Morsi’s removal last July, with his supporters staging near daily protests against interim authorities that often descend into violent confrontations with security forces.

Source: Ahram Online

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