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Presidency accuses journalists of insulting Morsy

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Complaint filed with the prosecutor general

Journalists from politically affiliated newspapers protest in front of the People’s Assembly Hassan Ibrahim / DNE

Journalists from politically affiliated newspapers protest in front of the People’s Assembly. (DNE/ Hassan Ibrahim)

The presidency has filed a complaint with the prosecutor general against Youm Al-Sabea editor and television presenter Khaled Salah and Ola El-Shafie, a reporter at the paper, accusing them of insulting President Mohamed Morsy.

The newspaper had published a story in its arts section by El-Shafie where she criticised the president and prominent Muslim Brotherhood figures supreme guide Mohamed Badie and his deputy Khairat El-Shater following clashes outside the Presidential Palace.

The complaint is the latest in a series of incidents where journalists and media personalities have been investigated for “insulting the president.” Previous cases included talk show hosts Mahmoud Saad and Tawfiq Okasha as well as Dostour newspaper editor Islam Afifi.

On Sunday over 200 media professionals working in state-owned television marched against what they said was Islamist domination of state media brought about by Morsy’s presidency and the appointment of a minister of information from the Muslim Brotherhood.

The protest was in response to a sit-in by Salafi Islamist groups, mostly supporters of the ultraorthodox Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, outside of the Media Production City where most of Egypt’s satellite programming is filmed and broadcast from.

Demonstrators have been camped outside the media city since Friday, demanding the “purification” of media and checking people’s IDs before letting them in.

Islamists accuse the media of liberal bias and prejudice against Morsy and Islamists in general. Calls for the “purification of the media” have been high on the agenda of Islamist protestors in recent rallies.

Salah Abdel Maqsoud, the minister of information, is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood dominated upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, also selected all editors-in-chief of state-owned newspapers and publications.

It is private and independent media they are accusing of bias now. Privately-owned television channel Dream TV was shut down earlier in November with authorities claiming a contract dispute. The channel is known for carrying Wael El-Ebrashy’s “Ten o’clock” show which is highly critical of Islamists.

The channel has since been back on the air, however.

About the author

Ahmed Aboul Enein

News Reporter

Ahmed Aboul Enein is an Egyptian journalist who hates writing about himself in the third person. Follow him on Twitter @aaboulenein

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