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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Media issues in Egypt continue to dominate the conversation in the foreign press

Media issues in Egypt continue to dominate the conversation in the foreign press, especially following Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek ordering on Friday the detention of the woman who spoke to the BBC about her daughter alleged forced disappearance for spreading false news, Reuters reports. Mahmoud was at the center of Orla Guerin’s controversial report on disappearances in Egypt, which prompted Sadek to issue an order last week to monitor and penalize media believed to be publishing “false news.” Pakistan Today and NPR (listen here, runtime: 2:56) also zero in on the topic.

Separately, prosecutors are investigating TV presenter Khairy Ramadan over allegations of spreading false news and insulting the police, Al Shorouk reports.

The prosecutor’s remarks blaming media outlets for negative coverage on Egypt were the latest escalation of a draconian crackdown on civil liberties before the presidential elections, Declan Walsh writes for The New York Times. Walsh also points to the rules imposed by the National Election Commission on covering the poll, which include banning journalists “from using photographs or headlines ‘not related to the topic’ and forbids them from making ‘any observations about the voting process.’”

Other outlets are following in the BBC’s footsteps and noting journalists and others they allege have been forcibly disappeared. Amnesty International issued a statement claiming that rights lawyer Ezzat Ghonim may have been forcibly disappeared. Two journalists were also arrested in Alexandria on Wednesday and are under investigation for allegedly filming without a license for a story about the tramway “that would spread false news,” according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Al Monitor is alleging that journalists Hassan Al Banna and Mostafa Al Aasar were reportedly abducted last month.

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