Conflicting accounts arose on Wednesday surrounding the alleged closure of the party newspaper of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).
The Freedom and Justice newspaper released a statement early Wednesday morning saying that security forces raided the newspaper’s Manial headquarters and confiscated equipment and furniture, transferring them to an “unknown location.”
The paper said that since former President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, it had been working under unprecedented pressure from security and that their offices had been attacked by unknown assailants before.
FJP journalist Mostafa Al-Khatib said that the newspaper had received threats and was subject to attacks starting with the days leading up to the 30 June demonstrations against the Muslim Brotherhood. “Many of us don’t go to the newspaper’s offices because of threats,” he added.
The newspaper’s statement accused the security apparatus of not protecting the newspaper’s facilities as it did for other media outlets and condemned the “barbaric campaign on the headquarters without any legality or professionalism.”
The FJP newspaper held the Press Syndicate responsible for safeguarding the paper’s freedom to continue working freely and also appealed to human rights organisations to condemn “the campaigns of intimidation.”
A man, who requested to not be named, working in the building claimed that the staff of the newspaper had removed all its equipment from the offices around 30 June and had not returned. He added that police had come to the building after the violent dispersals of Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Square as part of a security sweep but did not find the newspaper’s staff at the closed offices.
The Ministry of Interior declined to comment to Daily News Egypt, but state-owned Al-Ahram cited a source from the Cairo Security Directorate denying that police had carried out a raid on the party newspaper offices.
Tareq Abu Zeid, Attorney General of the South Cairo Prosecution, told Al-Ahram that there had not been a judicial decision to close the Freedom and Justice Party newspaper and had not received any requests from state officials to do so.
Earlier this week, a court ruling ordered the disbanding of the Muslim Brotherhood Organisation and ordered the confiscation of its assets.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s satellite channel, Misr 25, was shut down along with a number of other pro-Morsi channels after Morsi’s ouster was announced on 3 July.