Sabbahi denounces media censorship by authorities

Ahram Online, Friday 7 Dec 2012

Opposition figure Hamdeen Sabbahi claims he was barred from appearing on private CBC channel due to pressure from authorities; ElBaradei denounces Morsi's 'fascistic' controls on media

Nasserist opposition figure Hamdeen Sabbahi at Tahrir square (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Nasserist opposition figure Hamdeen Sabbahi has condemned a decision to bar him from the private CBC channel on Thursday.

In a statement released on Friday, he said the decision to bar him from the channel was made by the 'sovereign authorities'.

There were rumours that Sabbahi would be arrested at the CBC headquarters in Media City, Sixth October City.

Constitution Party founder Mohamed ElBaradei said via Twitter on Friday that the decision to ban Sabbahi from the channel was "an escalation of fascist control over the media but [the Morsi regime] presents itself as a representative of the revolution and a preacher for freedom."

This is not the first time Morsi has attempted to constrain public freedom and the media, the statement added.

The president's call for dialogue during a speech on Thursday was not serious because he refused to cancel the constitutional declaration that gives him dictatorial powers, the statement said. And Morsi's determination to hold the constitutional referendum on 15 December was against the national consensus and his previous "agreements."

The statement said there had been deaths and injuries of peaceful protesters because of [Morsi's] stubborn opposition to national demands and his refusal to confront public anger.

Legitimacy will be achieved through building a national consensus but Morsi is drifting away from this, the statement said. He is ignoring the demands of the people and serving only the interests of the Brotherhood.

Mass protests against Morsi's constitutional declaration and the draft constitution provide a clear message that the revolution continues and will do so until victory is secured, the statement claimed.

Moreover, the statement continued, President Morsi's call for dialogue with opposition forces has been shown to be false by his restraints on the media, freedom of expression, and moves to prevent the opposition from reaching out to the public.

Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah on Wednesday transferred a complaint against Sabbahi, ElBaradei, Mubarak-era foreign minister Amr Moussa, Wafd Party leader Al-Sayyed Al-Badawi, and Judges' Club chair Ahmed El-Zend to the Supreme State Security prosecution.

Moussa is accused of meeting with Israel's former foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, and agreeing to "confuse" President Morsi – in coordination with the other accused – in order to provoke internal strife in Egypt.

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