Rights group: Egypt’s generals are muzzling media

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By AP and Daily News Egypt

CAIRO: A leading media watchdog says an Egyptian military investigation of journalists and bloggers shows the country’s ruling generals are trying to muzzle the media.

The journalists and bloggers are among 12 prominent figures under investigation over allegations they incited hatred against the Egyptian army and tried to overthrow the government.

The accused include prominent novelist Alaa El-Aswany, outspoken TV anchor Yosri Fouda, anchor Reem Maged, PA members Ziad El-Eleimy and Abol Ezz El-Hariry, presidential hopeful Bouthaina Kamel, leftist activist Sameh Naguib, politician George Ishaq, and Mahfouz.

The official Middle East News Agency (MENA) said Wednesday that general prosecution referred a complaint filed against 12 public figures to its military counterpart with charges of incitement to demolish the state and against the military rulers. Over 700 civilians have signed the complaint, according to MENA.

On the same day, activist Asmaa Mahfouz received a one-year prison sentence in absentia. She knew about her prison sentence on the same day. In two days of procedure, Mahfouz said she was sentenced in absentia on charges of assault.

Both cases were filed by civilians, a practice used under the Hosni Mubarak-regime to crack down on dissent without a direct confrontation.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said Friday it also condemns attacks on journalists covering protests in Egypt. A correspondent for state television lost an eye when police shot him in the face during clashes between security forces and protesters last month.

Since taking over from Hosni Mubarak a year ago, Egypt’s ruling generals have consistently targeted critics and tried to intimidate top activists and media figures by summoning them for questioning.


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