The Freedoms Committee of the Press Syndicate issued a statement on Saturday, in which it condemned the referral of editor-in-chief and deputy of privately-owned Al-Watan newspaper Mahmoud Mosallam and Ahmed Al-Khateeb to the criminal court on charges of insulting Al-Azhar.
In a statement, the committee said the two journalists were directly referred to court without investigations. The Freedoms Committee denounced the act of chasing journalists through Al-Azhar, Egypt’s biggest religious institution, as it indicates the formation of a religious state that we should all oppose.
The committee added that criticising any journalistic pieces should be done through legal means which include stating the other opinions in response, and that’s what is usually done in civilian states that we aim to be like. However, no institution, no matter how big it is, can escape criticism as long as the boundaries and ethics are maintained.
The statement further condemned chasing journalists and the attempts to terrorise them to impose restrictions on their work.