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State TV head of news released but banned from travel

The head and chief editor of the news section at state television have been released after paying fines, both accused of spreading false information on bloody 9 October clashes in Maspero

Ahram Online, Thursday 2 Feb 2012
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Ibrahim El-Sayed, head of the news section in Egyptian state television, accused of broadcasting lies during the 9 October Maspero incidents, was released today after paying a fine of LE10,000. During protests byu Coptic Christians in October, violence erupted between protesters and the armed forces outside the state TV building in Maspero, leaving 27 dead and 300 injured.

Witnesses reported that military forces opened fire on both Coptic and Muslim protesters that day.

State television reported the story differently, saying on live broadcast that Copts in Maspero were attacking the armed forces, calling on the viewing audience to head to the area to defend the military. This call was heavily criticised by media and political specialists.

Not only El-Sayad, but also Abdel Aziz El-Helw, chief editor in the news section, was released, the latter after paying a fine of LE5,000. Both are banned from travelling outside the country.

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