CAIRO: Editorial staff from independent daily Al-Dostour was among those summoned for questioning by a public prosecution office in Giza Wednesday, in connection with the publishing of an article about the murder of a Lebanese singer in Dubai.
According to Rawda Ahmed of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, Gamal El-Aaty, a journalist with Al-Tariq, and Khaled Ismail Ramadan of Al-Dostour and Al-Dostour’s Executive Editor Ibrahim Mansour were questioned in relation to an alleged offense under Article 193 of the Penal Code, which bans coverage of events where the public prosecutor has issued a gag order.
Al-Dostour Editor in Chief Ibrahim Eissa was outside Egypt at the time the article was published and will not face any charges.
Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim’s decapitated body was found in her Dubai apartment last month.
Egypt’s Prosecutor General Abdel-Maguid Mahmoud imposed a ban on publication without giving any explanation, but the order came after reports in Arab media that an Egyptian businessman may have been involved.
On Aug. 10, Al-Dostour published an article with the headline “Was an Egyptian public figure involved in the murder of Suzanne Tamim?
The article speculated that several Egyptians, including a high-profile businessman, may have been involved in the singer’s death.
Al-Dostour was pulled from newsstands on Sunday.
According to Ahmed, the journalists told district attorney Wael El-Heimy that they were not aware of the gag order until the day after the article was published.
Al-Dostour Editor Ibrahim Eissa is an outspoken critic of the government who continues to push limits despite the several criminal cases brought against him by both the government and its acolytes.
He was convicted earlier this year of “publishing false information of a nature to endanger national security after publishing articles concerning the health of President Hosni Mubarak.
The case has been heavily criticized as a violation of press freedom both in Egypt and internationally.