Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ruling Military Council Intensifies Media Clampdown in Egypt

by Sharif Abdel Kouddous

"CAIRO, Egypt - The media clampdown in Egypt is worsening. Over the past six weeks, the ruling military council has censored the press, raided news organizations, shut down broadcasts and intimidated journalists.

"The military government has revived Mubarak-era repression," says Mohamed Abdel Dayem, the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In the most recent incident, Yousri Fouda, a widely respected journalist and the host of an influential political talk show, announced he was indefinitely suspending his program on Friday due to censorship pressure. Fouda, whose show ran on ONTV—a private channel owned by Egyptian telecommunications tycoon Naguib Sawiris—had invited outspoken novelist Alaa el-Aswany and opposition journalist Ibrahim Eissa to join him on Thursday evening's program, but the episode was inexplicably cancelled....

As with so much else in Egypt's transitional period, the battle for freedom of the media has a long way to go."

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