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BBC 'will discuss' controversial human rights report with Egyptian authorities

Ahram Online , Thursday 1 Mar 2018
BBC
The main entrance to the BBB headquarters in London, Britain, April 14, 2017 (Photo: Ayat Al-Tawy)
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The BBC has said it will discuss with Egyptian authorities their complaint about a recent report on the country's human rights record that has angered Cairo.

The British broadcaster published a short documentary and online report last week on what it said were cases of forced disappearances and torture carried out by the Egyptian security forces.

The report was described as containing "lies and allegations" by the Egyptian State Information Service, which oversees foreign media's access to the country and frequently comments on foreign reporting about Egypt.  

The issue has stirred controversy in Egypt, and one young woman who was described in the report as having been disappeared by security forces was interviewed on a popular talk show to deny the claim.

The State Information Service has called on Egyptian officials and prominent individuals to boycott the BBC after the report until the public broadcaster issues an official apology. It also demanded the BBC publish a statement it had prepared refuting the report’s claims.

The BBC said on Wednesday on its Arabic website that "the complaint about the documentary will be discussed with the Egyptian authorities in the coming days," adding that that it stands by the “integrity of our reporting teams.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Egypt’s public prosecutor had tasked state prosecutors to take legal action against media outlets publishing “false news, statements and rumours."

Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry criticised the BBC and other media outlets for “relying on fabricated sources for political purposes,” the ministry’s spokesman said in a Twitter post.

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