CAIRO: The Ministry of Interior dropped Monday two lawsuits against al-Youm al-Sabei (Youm7) and al-Masry al-Youm newspapers amid journalists’ protests against the police’s “crackdown on press freedom.”
The Ministry accused Youm7’s Editor-in-Chief Kahled Salah and reporter Sayed Falah of “publishing false news that disturb peace and public security,” after publishing Thursday a story claiming that a car in President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s motorcade was attacked Wednesday on its way back to Cairo from Sharm el-sheikh, where a tripartite economic Summit was held.
The Ministry has also sued al-Masry al-youm over publishing stories criticizing police violation April 19, 2015.
“To strengthen the bonds between us and all segments of the people and different media outlets, and after al-Youm al-Sabei newspaper published a correction to the news on its website, the ministry has withdrawn the two complaints,” the ministry said in a letter submitted to the Attorney-General Monday.
Meanwhile, a group of Journalists protested Monday noon outside the Journalists’ Syndicate, calling for putting an end to the police’s “crackdown on journalists.”
In a statement following an urgent meeting held in the Cairo-based syndicate, a group of editors and syndicate members called on President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to issue “constitutional guarantees” protecting press freedom.
They also called for not imposing bails on journalists over publication crimes, as that contradicts the press law.
During his visit to Johannesburg, where the African Summit is being held, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said that he has intervened to solve the problem between Youm7 and the ministry, saying “there is a distinguished relationship between the state and the media. We fully trust Egyptian journalists, particularly during this critical stage.”