Egypt newspaper questioned over unpublished report

The newspaper announced its intentions to publish documents proving that the 2012 poll was fixed, but the ministry banned it

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Egypt’s Interior Ministry has filed a complaint against the country’s largest private newspaper, al-Masry al-Youm, over an unpublished report claiming that 2012’s presidential election, won by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammad Mursi, was fixed.

The newspaper announced last week its intentions to publish documents proving that the 2012 poll was fixed to ensure Mursi’s win.

But Egypt’s top prosecutor issued an order against the release of the documents and obliged the newspaper not to publish their exclusive report, the paper claims.

The newspaper agreed to abide by the publishing ban, but lashed out against the ministry saying it had “over-stepped its authority.”

Ali al-Sayyed, the newspaper’s chief, spoke out against the government’s actions, saying that the complaint “sets a dangerous precedents as it constrains freedom of the press,” in comments to the newspaper.

In addition, state security prosecutors have been questioning Sayyed and the journalist who worked on the exclusive report, Ahmad Youssef.

Prosecutors arrested Sayyed and Youssef, but released the pair 14 hours later on 2,000 pound bail, pending investigation.

The ministry’s accusations against the newspaper include disrupting peace, spreading false information and embezzling documents from Egypt’s General Prosecution, as well as publishing news on a court case.

It is the first time the Interior Ministry has filed a complaint against a newspaper prior to its publishing information to the public.

Ousted President Mohammad Mursi beat opponent Ahmad Shafiq during the 2012 presidential election. Shafiq later appealed the decision claiming the election was rigged, but the Supreme President Elections Commission rejected his appeal.

One year later, Mursi was ousted and is currently being tried for inciting violence and espionage among other charges.

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