Diaa Rashwan, head of the State Information Service (SIS) in Egypt, said Saturday that the authority ended the contract of two translators after they mistakenly translated a report by the SIS, claiming that the Hurghada stabbing attack was of a terrorism nature, despite authorities’ non-declaration of the motives of the attack.
Two German female nationals were killed and four other foreigners injured on Friday after a man stabbed them on the beach in Hurghada.
“The SIS asserted in the Arabic version of its report that the nature and motives of the Hurghada attack, which prosecution authorities are investigating,” the authority said in a statement.
Rashwan’s comments was that “we were surprised that our translators gave a wrong translation,” meaning they combined the Hurghada attack with the militants attack on policemen in Badrasheen, referring to both as terrorist attacks.
Rashwan referred to the first one as “definitely a terrorist attack” and the second one as “an assault.” He added, “our report clearly said that the Hurghada incident was an assault with melee weapons on tourists.”
“I am sorry to say that we relied on contracted professional translators working with the SIS, through a fund in agreement with the European Union. I was surprised that they failed to properly translate the report from Arabic,” he said in TV statements Saturday night.
Despite wrong information sent out to journalists by the SIS itself, a communique sent to foreign journalists in Egypt urged them to “stick to official sources of information and not to fall for wrong information.”
Rashwan, former president of the Press Syndicate, was appointed in June by the president to head the SIS.