18 January 2013

Egypt Is Not Suppressing Media - Spokesman Tells Washington Post

Egypt's Presidential Spokesman Dr. Yasser Ali sent a message Thursday to The Washington Post under the banner "Egypt is not suppressing media."

The move came in response to the January 14 editorial, published by The Post, under "Egypt's climate of intimidation."

"We are concerned that The Post would base its arguments on unsubstantiated allegations and seemingly call for President Mohamed Morsy to selectively suppress freedoms in Egypt," Ali said in the message.

"Although appointed by the president, the prosecutor cited in the editorial cannot be removed from office by presidential decree and operates with independence.

The president's office has complained about fabricated news stories, which are becoming commonplace in Egyptian media," he said.

"To our knowledge, no news anchors have been "yanked off the air," as the Post described it, merely for being critical of the administration. The "state-run" papers continue to carry articles critical of the president and the government," he added.

"Further, the editorial seemed to suggest that the president should have ordered a crackdown on peaceful protests outside media offices simply because the protesters were voicing a pro-Morsy complaint. But freedom in the new Egypt must exist according to the law, not the whims of the presidency," the presidential spokesman noted.

"Finally, the Post suggested that supporters of the president were involved in the death of a journalist, but forensic reports confirmed that Abu Deif was killed by the same type of bullet that killed seven pro-Morsy protesters at the same demonstrations," he said.

Ali, meanwhile, said that Egypt has succeeded in approving a constitution and will soon have an elected legislature based on that constitution and Morsy continues to declare his unwavering support for a new Egypt in which the rule of law governs everyone, including the office of the president.

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