Education International (EI) joins the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in demanding freedom for jailed Egyptian journalist Ahmed Khalifa.
Ahmed Khalifa, social news editor of Egypt 360 website, was arrested on January 6th after publishing a series of reports on workers’ legitimate protests. He was falsely charged with joining a terrorist group and spreading fake news, and remains in detention to date.
Before his arrest, Khalifa published several reports about workers’ strikes at the state-owned ElDelta Company for Fertilizers and Chemical Industry.
“The global trade union movement condemns Khalifa’s detention simply for doing his job and demands his immediate release. Labour leaders are especially outraged that his factual reporting on workers’ protests has been considered as false news and a crime by the attorney general,” the statement reads.
There are currently 25 imprisoned journalists in Egypt, according to the IFJ. This makes Egypt the second country with the highest number of journalists in jail, surpassed only by Turkey.
As 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the Arab Spring, the demands of the Egyptian people for democracy, freedom of expression and basic rights are yet to be met. On the labour front, successive governments have kept an anti-union line and collective bargaining is almost non-existent. Trade unions, such as the Independent Teachers Union of Egypt (ISTT), are forced to resort to strikes and protest actions to make their voice heard.
EI stands in solidarity all Egyptian journalists, teachers and workers.