Press freedom setback in Egypt
April 14, 2011
There is frustration in Egypt at the pace of change following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, who is now in detention along with his sons.
And there are also troubling signs of renewed threats to press freedom. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has expressed concern about the Egyptian military's demand that local print media obtain approval for any mention of the armed forces before publication.
A letter sent to editors by the director of the "morale affairs directorate" of the Egyptian military ordered them not to "publish any (topics, news, statements, complaints, advertisements, pictures) pertaining to the armed forces or to commanders of the armed forces without first consulting with the Morale Affairs Directorate and the Directorate of Military Intelligence and Information Gathering."
The letter's content has not been reported in Egyptian publications, but the regime of censorship has been noted by bloggers.
In another example of the serious setback for press freedom in Egypt, a military court in Cairo has sentenced blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad to three years in prison for "insulting the military".
He was arrested on 28 March soon after writing an article in which he criticised the military for not being transparent in its decision-making.