Egypt state TV presenter held for ‘defaming police’ released

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Egyptian authorities on Monday released on bail a prominent state television talk show presenter after he was briefly held on accusations he insulted the police, officials said.

Pro-government Khairy Ramadan had been ordered detained late Sunday after he last month discussed the alleged low salaries of police officers on his show “Egypt Today” on the public Channel 1.

Citing a policeman’s wife, Ramadan had presented a breakdown of the officer’s monthly gross salary of 6,890 pounds ($390, 320 euros), with which he has to provide for his family.

He was released on Monday on a 10,000-pound bail (about $560), officials said.

His detention came after authorities warned they were keeping a close eye on media and would take action against anyone spreading “false” news.

Egypt is currently gearing up for presidential elections on March 26-28 that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi looks certain to win.

The state prosecution said Wednesday that it would monitor news outlets and social media “in light of recent observed attempts to harm the security and safety of the homeland by publishing lies and false news”.

Prosecutors were ordered to “take the necessary measures under the criminal law” against “false statements, news and rumors that harm public safety or bring terror into the hearts of individuals”.