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Press freedom under pressure in Egypt

Dec. 6, 2012 | International Media Support (IMS)

Newspapers and television stations opposing the new draft constitution made by Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi are falling silent 4 – 5 December in protest over what they see as further restrictions on press freedom. Journalist Lena Odgaard talks to two independent journalists in Egypt about their post-revolution hopes for more press freedom in Egypt

Incidents of suspension of TV stations, arrests and assaults on journalists and confiscation of newspapers have taken place in Egypt in the last few months of 2012.

“The level of press freedom is deteriorating – there are attacks on journalists on a daily basis,” says Ahmed Esmat, 30, journalist and co-founder of two new Alexandria-based media outlets, Alex Agenda Magazine and the newspaper ‘Amwague’.

In August, Minister of Information and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Salah Abdel-Maqsoud, suspended the TV-channel, ‘Fareen’, and confiscated the August 11-edition of the al-Dustour newspaper due to accusations of incitement and insulting the President. Both outlets are known for being notoriously critical of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the military. Fareen’s controversial TV host, Tawfiq Okasha and editor-in-chief of al-Dustour, Islam Afifi, are to be tried at the Cairo Criminal Court for incitement.

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