Rights groups denounce crackdown on media outlets

The Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression and the Support for Information Technology Center on Sunday condemned the curtailment of free press in Egypt.

Egyptian authorities shut down the Qatari-based Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr in Cairo in the beginning of September for not having a license to work in Cairo, despite allowing the station to broadcast earlier without a license.

Authorities stormed its offices last Thursday and confiscated some of its broadcasting equipment.

In a joint statement on Sunday, the two rights institutions said Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr said on Twitter that its office was being stormed by Egyptian authorities and that its workers were being assaulted.

The statement added that last week, authorities committed five violations against freedom of expression. Two editions of the state-run newspaper Rose al-Youssef and one of privately-owned Sawt al-Umma were confiscated. Moreover, two reporters at the privately-owned Al-Fagr newspaper were rumored to have been pressed to drop two stories from its Monday edition.

Authorities' ongoing violations against media channels – hindering their work and halting the distribution of licenses for new satellite TV channels – represents an extension of former President Hosni Mubarak’s policies, the statement noted, adding that the crackdown deprives citizens of their right to obtain information.

In September, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces stopped granting licenses to new satellite TV channels.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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