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Egyptian editor arrested over 'false reporting' released on bail

Ibrahim Aref, editor-in-chief of online news website Al-Bayan, was arrested over publishing a news story claiming six prosecutors were assassinated while travelling on a highway outside Cairo

Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 May 2015
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A Cairo prosecution released on Tuesday a senior editor who was arrested a day earlier over charges of spreading false news, state news agency MENA said.

Ibrahim Aref, editor-in-chief of online news website Al-Bayan, was arrested over publishing a news story claiming six prosecutors were assassinated while travelling on a highway outside Cairo.

Egypt's journalists syndicate had condemned his arrest as a violation of press law and urged his release.

Aref faced charges of  “publishing false news that might disrupt the general security, terrorise people, and harm the public interest."

On Tuesday, authorities ordered his release on bail of LE10,000 (approximately $1,300).

Publishing false news is punishable under Egyptian law with prison terms.

Several Egyptian media outlets have been facing state pressure over recent news reports.

Last week, privately owned daily newspaper Al-Watan was forced to stop the release of its Monday print edition over a front page story titled 'Seven [state and economic players] stronger than [President Abdel-Fattah] El-Sisi'. It also contained a column criticising security infiltration into the media. The paper reportedly had to adjust its content and reporting.

Last month, reports criticising police violence and the mistreatment of detainees were published in a number of local papers. The interior ministry filed cases against independent papers such as El-Dostour and Al-Masry Al-Youm and even arrested a reporter over features on police brutality.

In March, Al-Watan was also forced to change the content of one of its issues that was planned run an investigative report suggesting that certain state institutions were implicated in tax evasion.

 

 

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