Egypt's Ministry of Interior said on Wednesday it may resort to “judicial procedures” against newspapers and media outlets that "spread rumours and false reports of security problems" at strategic and vital facilities.
In a statement on its official Facebook page, the ministry named specific newspapers and websites –El-Wafd, El-Masreyoun, El-Bawaba and El-Masry El-Youm – that it said published false reports of a bomb explosion in 6 October City on Wednesday as well as unfounded reports of the finding and dismantling of an explosive device near Tanta University.
The ministry said that news outlets should report on such news from “official sources” so as not to confuse public opinion.
Egyptian authorities have confiscated the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of El-Bawaba newspaper for publishing articles criticising what they described as a “security lapse” resulting in the deadly church bombings that killed 46 people in Tanta and Alexandria on Sunday. The articles demanded the resignation of minister of interior Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar.
On Monday, the president declared a three-month state of emergency on Monday after the two deadly suicide bombings hit the Mar Girgis Cathedral in Tanta and St Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria on Palm Sunday.
The state of emergency grants the state more powers in overseeing media in addition to other exceptional legal and judicial authorities.