Egyptian media does not give Morsi enough credit: Shura Council

Ahram Online, Tuesday 17 Jul 2012

Shura Council members lambast media for not publicising President Mohamed Morsi's role in bringing home the Egyptian journalist who was detained in Sudan

Shura Council
The headquarters of the Shura Council (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Members of the Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament) unleashed a scathing attack on what they described as "the deluding media" in Tuesday's session, saying that the return of Egyptian journalist Shaimaa Adel on an Egyptian presidential plane did not receive enough media coverage, although her detainment in Sudan was surrounded by considerable publicity.

Adel was detained in turmoil-hit Sudan on 21 June while covering anti-austerity protests in front of Khartoum University. Unlike her compatriot Salma El-Wardani, the Bloomberg reporter who had earlier been arrested for the same reason in Sudan but was released after several hours, Adel spent a fortnight in detention before being released on 4 July. The latter journalist did not have a work permit.

During her two-week detention, Adel hit a lot of headlines, but her return to Egypt with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was not given enough attention by local media, the disgruntled Shura Council members said.

Morsi was in Ethiopia attending an African Union summit on Monday evening, in what seemed to be a new atmosphere of cooperation between Egypt and other African nations. Adel went to the Ethiopian capital after her release and returned to Egypt with the presidential contingent.

Doubters on social media websites opined that Morsi did not actually play a major role in Adel's release and was only trying to gain publicity by letting the young journalist travel on the presidential plane on his way back.

The decision to release Adel came following a meeting between Morsi and Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir.

Shura Council members also said Morsi's visit to Ethiopia has seen Egypt finally reconcile with neighbouring African countries. However, they say, Egyptian media ignored how important this step is.

The media used to celebrate any visit ousted president Hosni Mubarak made to any country for whatever reason, said critics at the parliamentary upper chamber, which is dominated by the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi is a Brotherhood leading figure and the former chairman of the FJP.

Egypt's relationship with other Nile basin countries was tarnished late in the Mubarak era over continued disagreements regarding the allocation of the river's water.

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