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Egypt army secures Cairo's Media Production City ahead of protests

Military forces begin deploying at Media Production City - where most private Egyptian TV and radio channels are based - to secure compound ahead of planned protests

Ahram Online , Tuesday 25 Jun 2013
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The military began securing Cairo's Media Production City (MPC) on Tuesday ahead of expected mass protests on 30 June, a military official told Egyptian state news agency MENA.

The MPC, located in 6 October City, a satellite city on the outskirts of Cairo, is home to most private Egyptian television and radio stations.

Armed vehicles and infantry will be used to secure the compound, according to the source, to allow media outlets to work with the "utmost freedom," reported MENA.

A sit-in by Islamist protesters in December besieged the MPC after repeated allegations by Islamists against non-Islamist media for "inciting violence" and "misleading the public."

The sit-in was a response to a call by popular Salafist preacher Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail to demonstrate to demand the "purge" of Egyptian mainstream media.

Islamists protested at the MPC again in March, assaulting several media personalities as they demonstrated against a perceived "anti-Islamist bias" in Egypt's media.

The protests were again supported by Abu-Ismail, while the Muslim Brotherhood – from which President Mohamed Morsi hails – distanced itself from the demonstration, although some members took part.

The planned 30 June anti-Morsi protests intend to demand early presidential elections as anti-Muslim Brotherhood sentiment grows amid deepening political polarisation and an economic crisis the current government is accused of failing to resolve.

Pro-Morsi Islamists, on the other hand, plan to start a rival sit-in on 28 June, raising fears of physical confrontation between the two camps.

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