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Egyptian media, journalists face rising suppression under Mursi

Published: Updated:

TV anchors behind bars, a black screen, complaints against journalists and satellite channels, complaints even submitted by the Egyptian presidency.

A threat that turned into reality: Less than two months after Mohamed Mursi became president, Islam Afifi, editor-in-chief of al-Dostour newspaper, was taken to court for insulting the president, publishing false news, and destabilizing the public security.

TV anchor Tawfik Okasha was accused of calling for the overthrow and the killing of President Mursi.

Complaints were even filed against psychiatrist Manal Omar, who was accused of insulting the president when she tried to analyze his character during a television talk show

For legal experts, what is more disturbing, however, is an article in the constitution that sanctions the closure or banning of any media outlet with a court order. The text of this article is seen as “ambiguous.”

The soaring number of legal complaints against journalists has cast doubt on Mursi’s commitments to freedom of expression.

Mursi’s critics accuse him of trying to stamp out criticism in an often hostile media as the country faces a dire economy and increasing public discontent.