Egypt's Alaa El-Aswany to discontinue writing weekly column
Ahram Online, Tuesday 24 Jun 2014
The prominent author and columnist says 'only praise is allowed nowadays' in Egypt


Prominent Egyptian columnist and author Alaa El-Aswany said late on Monday he would be refraining from publishing his weekly column since "only one particular opinion is allowed nowadays."

"Dear readers, I have stopped writing in Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper. Thank you for having read my weekly articles and, God willing, we will meet elsewhere," El-Aswany declared on his official Twitter account.

"Criticism and difference of opinion are no longer allowed," he added in another tweet, "Only praise, at the expense of the truth."

El-Aswany's decision perpetuates a discernible trend witnessing a number of dissenting voices falling into silence.

In February, established critical writer and novelist Belal Fadl discontinued his regular column in Al-Shorouk, accusing the newspaper of having censored his article.

Fadl wrote on Twitter at the time that no article of his had ever been banned under the rule of ousted long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak, former military chief Hussein Tantawi or deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Al-Shorouk's editor-in-chief, Emad El-Din Hussein, denied however that any censorship had been exercised on Fadl or any other writer, claiming the article had been withdrawn from print for containing a factual error.

Earlier in June, Egypt's top satirist Bassem Youssef also said the "enormous pressure" being placed on him and his crew compelled him to bring his show, El-Bernameg, to a halt.

Youssef stated that he realised the current environment "is not suitable for the show."

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