Egyptian police raid website office, arrest editor-in-chief

 

Egyptian police raided the office of a news website late on Tuesday and arrested its editor-in-chief, according to three of its journalists, including its managing editor.

The raid came two days after the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, an official oversight body, told the website, Masr al-Arabia, to pay 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,849) as a fine for republishing a New York Times article on alleged irregularities during last week’s presidential election.

Two journalists at the website quoted the site’s lawyers as saying that police said they had acted because the website did not have a permit to operate. The journalists said the raid was prompted by the republishing of the New York Times article.

 

A statement from the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, which was based on a complaint from the national election authority, on Sunday accused the website of publishing false news.

The website should have checked the authenticity of the news or commented on it with an opinion,” the Council statement said, referring to the New York Times article, which said some voters were offered payments and other inducements to vote.

The New York Times defended its reporting. “We stand by the accuracy of our reporting and strongly condemn any arrests meant to intimidate journalists and stifle freedom of the press,” Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the New York Times Co, said in an emailed statement.

 

Adel Sabry, the website’s editor-in-chief, was arrested and is being held at Dokki police station in greater Cairo, Mohamed Mounir, Masr al-Arabia’s managing editor, told Reuters.

A security source at the police station said Sabry was being held prior to appearing before a prosecutor. Sabry is accused of running a news website without a permit, the source added.

 

The office of the website was closed and “sealed with red wax”, the three journalists said.

Masr al-Arabia is one of about 500 websites that in recent months have been blocked in Egypt, although some are still accessible through virtual networks. Rights groups say the closures amount to a crackdown against freedom of expression.

Visitors Counter

TodayToday396
YesterdayYesterday754
This weekThis week2999
This monthThis month14258
All daysAll days289922

Image of the day

Related Links

Keep in Touch

  •  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  •  Phone: 00249157796153