Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi ordered the withdrawal of legal complaints filed by his office against journalists accused of publishing rumors about him, his spokesperson announced on Wednesday.
“The president has ordered the withdrawal of all complaints against journalists for publishing rumors about him,” the presidency spokesperson said on Mursi’s official Twitter account.
These complaints, the number of which was not specified, were filed by “its legal staff,” added the spokesperson.
This decision was made “out of respect for freedom of expression,” according to the official MENA news agency.
During his campaign, Mursi, the first Islamist and civilian president of Egypt, guaranteed freedom to the media, promising that there is “no reason not to write.”
But according to a human rights lawyer, Gamal Eid, there were four times more complaints for “insulting the president” during the first 200 days of Mursi’s rule compared to the 30-years under Hosni Mubarak.
The famous comedian Bassem Youssef, who hosts a popular political comedy show, was recently targeted, he was accused him of insulting the President along with Islam and Pakistan.
Mursi has said that complaints and actions taken against the comedian did not stem from the Presidency but from “citizens” who did not like his humor.