Egypt’s president has come under fire for censoring news outlets over charges of 'fueling sedition.' The ruling Muslim Brotherhood party’s move to stifle critics has sparked fears they are adopting the repressive tactics they pledged to abolish.
State prosecutors filed lawsuits against two journalists this week, and an entire issue of opposition newspaper al-Doustour was pulled by state censors.
NGO The Appropriate Communication Techniques for Development Group decried the move as a “severe blow to public freedoms that strike warning bells about the rights and freedoms in light of the choice of chief editors of national newspapers,” the group said in a report released on Friday.
Critics argue that the censorship is reminiscent of the press repression employed by ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
The NGO report evaluated President Mohammed Morsi’s overall performance since assuming the presidency, and slammed his policies that “crack down on the freedom of opinion and expression” as a reversal of his pledge to improve freedom of speech in Egypt.
Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the US State Department, said on Thursday that Washington was "concerned by reports that the Egyptian government is moving to restrict media freedom and criticism in Egypt."
Morsi’s government rebuffed critics, arguing that the move was aimed at suppressing media reports that incite violence, lead to a disruption of public order and personally insult the newly-elected president.
14.07, 19:552 comments
At least 12 people died, as an 11-story building collapsed in Egypt’s second-largest city of Alexandria, reports Al-Arabiya. The building also caused three more nearby houses to tumble with it.