Egypt's public prosecutor Nabil Sadek (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's public prosecutor has announced the launch of hotlines to receive complaints about "false news and rumors" published by media outlets and on social media websites with the aim of undermining national security.
The public prosecutor's office said in a statement on Monday that it has set up mobile telephone numbers to receive complaints via SMS and the popular messaging application WhatsApp.
The phone numbers cover all Egyptian governorates, according to the statement, which says the complaint should include the name of the complainant and their personal details.
It said the move was aimed at combatting "premeditated false news aiming to undermine state security, terrorize citizens ... or damage the country's public interests."
Last month, Egypt's public prosecutor tasked state prosecutors with taking legal action against media outlets and social-media websites found to be broadcasting “false news, statements and rumors".
The prosecutor said at the time that the decison came "in light of recent attempts by the forces of evil to undermine the safety and security of the nation by broadcasting and spreading lies."
The order came a day after Egypt’s foreign press center called on Egyptian officials and prominent individuals to boycott the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) after a report on human rights it said involved "lies and allegations".