25 March 2013

Egypt: Opposition Condemns Siege of Media Production City

Clashes erupted on Sunday night outside Egypt's Media Production City (MPC) between protesters and security forces. MPC has state-owned television channel studios and independent channels.

Islamist protesters gathered on Sunday outside the Media Production City, protesting against what they described as the "misleading media coverage that incites strife among the people."

The protesters chanted against some opposition leaders who belong to the National Salvation Front.

Some of the protesters blocked the entrance to the Production City and hurled stones at the security forces. The forces responded by firing teargas to disperse them and allow media persons to enter, reported the Middle East News Agency.

The protesters prevented Cameramen from recording the clashes, according to local newspaper, Al-Masry Alyoum.

They also prevented leaders from Egypt's opposition and head of journalists' syndiacte from entry into the city to attend shows that they were scheduled to appear in, reported the Ahram Portal.

Islamists had called for protests outside MPC to denounce the media's "biased coverage" of the Friday clashes in front of the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters.

The Egyptian Popular Current condemned on Sunday the siege of the MPC by the Islamist protesters. It also held the president responsible for what it described as the crime of besieging the city.

"Some people use the media to incite violence, and whoever is found to be involved in promoting violence will not escape punishment," President Mohamed Mursi, who haild from the Muslim Brotherhood, said in a speech on Sunday.

The Popular Current said in a statement it released Sunday night that "the president gave the green light for militants to terrorize and besiege media persons, break cameras and prevent them and talk show guests from entry, in addition to assaulting them and destroying their cars."

The Current, established by former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy, demanded that the Interior Ministry apply the law in protecting government installments.

Salvation Front member, Amr Hamzawy, condemned on Monday the assault on media persons through his Twitter account.

The former parliamentarian also held the president accountable for these "undemocratic practices"

He stressed, "Fighting the media and commentators and throwing accusations against them with the involvement of the president in such undemocratic practices leads to the collapse of legitimacy."

"Egypt is slipping into the absence of the rule of law as violence is responded to through violence," Hamzawy warned.

Meanwhile, disqualified Islamist presidential candidate, Hazem Salah Abu Ismael called for peaceful marches to the headquarters of liberal parties and besieging the houses of politicians and media persons who incite sedition on Sunday through his Facebook page.

On the other hand, Information Minister, Salah Abdel Maksoud, asked protesters to walk away from the gates to the city in order to maintain the peacefulness of their protests.

The minister stressed that the right to assembly is provided but there are legal means to oppose the performance of some television channels.

Copyright © 2013 Aswat Masriya. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.