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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Fadl accuses Al-Shorouk newspaper of censorship; editor denies claims

Egyptian writer Belal Fadl attacks Al-Shorouk for banning his article, which criticised possible presidential candidacy of army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi

Osman El Sharnoubi, Sunday 2 Feb 2014
Still from a show writer Belal Fadl previously hosted.
Views: 4217
Views: 4217

Prominent Egyptian writer Belal Fadl said on Sunday that he had officially terminated his relationship with daily newspaper Al-Shorouk for censoring his article on the same day.

The paper's chief editor has denied the censorship accusations.

On Sunday the newspaper, which had been publishing Fadl's articles since January 2013, ran a notice that Fadl's expected article would not appear in that day's edition.

Fadl, however, insisted that his article, which criticised the probable presidential candidacy of Egypt's top military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, had been censored.

After his article wasn't published, Fadl wrote on Twitter that no article of his had ever been banned during the reign of Hosni Mubarak, former military chief Hussein Tantawi or ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

In the article, Fadl accused famed Egyptian journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal of backing El-Sisi's presidential bid in spite of the author's past stance against military men becoming politicians.

Fadl stated on his Facebook page that the paper had shown the article to Heikal, who advised that they shouldn't publish it.

Fadl also said that he received a request from the paper's administration urging him to ignore the censorship incident and resume writing, which he decided against.

"After some thought, it became clear to me that this would be a contribution by me to lower the ceiling of freedom for the sake of my existence," he said, after which he decided to look for somewhere else to publish.

The article was published Sunday afternoon on the Mada Masr news website.

No censorship

After Fadl's claims on Sunday, Al-Shorouk's Editor-in-Chief Emad El-Din Hussein denied that any censorship had taken place.

"Not a single word of Fadl's has ever been scrapped or banned, neither have any of our other writers'," Hussein said.

According to Hussein, Fadl had mentioned in his article that Heikal was possibly going to write El-Sisi's presidential program, an insinuation that Hussein later said was inaccurate and which caused him to halt the article's publication so as not to present readers with unsubstantiated information.

Fadl refuted Hussein's statements on his Twitter account, claiming that previous articles of his and other journalists had been banned and that the editorial team frequently interferes with its writers and censors material. 

Fadl went even further, asserting that a previous article he wrote about TV presenter Ibrahim Eissa was almost banned until Fadl threatened to quit writing for the paper.

Al-Shorouk is known for being one of the few privately-owned print newspapers that hosts writers from divergent political affiliations who are often critical of the country's rulers.

Fadl's articles in Al-Shorouk repeatedly attacked the policies of the Egyptian state following Morsi's ouster in July. He was also a staunch critic of Morsi.

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03-02-2014 05:25pm
The reality
This the reality that must be accepted by all the revolutionaries,liberals,Islamists and leftist you have only the right to survive if you are logyal to CC otherwise go to hell, who cares.Long live CC and its loyal egyptian media
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03-02-2014 04:26pm
It is not possible to shield any given leader from all criticism. Even non-democratic states cannot do it. Trying to stop opposition factions from being critical of Sisi is a futile task. Those who cannot stand the political heat should get out of the political kitchen. Media and journalism do not exist to simply be an echo chamber.
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02-02-2014 11:00pm
Welcome your new democracy oh faithful ones who went to the streets on June 30th. Can't you see what we have achieved? A strong country, with a strong democracy, everyone happy with the justice being implemented. Praise your new idol Sisi and follow him to the new utopia!
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