Report Shows Media Freedom Historically Bad in Egypt
The Egyptian revolution has not brought freedom of the press. In fact quite the opposite according to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, which issued a report Sunday showing that the number of filed legal cases against journalists during Mohamed Morsi’s short tenure was four times more than the number of files reported during former President Hosni Mubarak’s era and 24 times more in comparison to late President Anwar Sadat.
According to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, the 12-page report, titled “The Crime of Insulting The President, A Crime of Authoritarian Regime,” includes an inventory of all the media-professionals, citizens and journalists who have been victims of Morsi’s media policy. It also includes a detailed comparison with all previous cases, during the terms of five presidents, after the country’s independence in 1953: Muhammed Naguib, Gamal Abdul-Nasser, Anwar El-Sadat, Hosni Mubarak and finally Mohamed Morsi.
Complaints against the press haven’t been limited to the domestic front either. The Egyptian embassy in London recently filed a complaint on behalf of the government against The Times newspaper. The complaint was in response to an article The Times ran which alleged Iran was aiding the Muslim Brotherhood in creating their own secret service agency and holding secret meetings with the president’s assistant Essam El-Haddad.
The complaint was made on the grounds of the violation of newspaper standards and accuracy. Thus far the Times has not published a retraction or reaction.