“Long live freedom and brutality not in our name”
That was the message written on banners draped over the front of the headquarters of the Egyptian Union of Journalists.
On Sunday scores of journalists held their own rally in Cairo in a show of solidarity with France, condemning the terrorist attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Jamal Fahmi spoke for many when he said:
“We are all united in defending civilisation, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and all kinds of freedoms which are threatened by these groups.”
Some taking part in the rally also urged the West not to believe the attacks had anything to do with the true religion of Islam.
Euronews reporter Mohammed Shaikhibrahim said: “Arab Journalists here are sending a strong message today saying that the spreading of hatred will not be tolerated and that these attacks will spur nations on to be more inclusive of different religions.”
But while journalists in Egypt joined the international response in condemning the attack on press freedom in France, the Paris based organisation Reporters Without Borders
accused Egypt’s government of being less than supportive to their own journalists.
In fact the Press freedom campaigners condemned the presence of several world leaders attending the unity rally in Paris on Sunday, accusing them of having poor records on human rights and the free press.
Reporters Without Borders singled out leadersfrom Egypt, Turkey, Russia, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as being responsible for particularly harsh environments for journalists.