Cabinet reviews legality of Al-Jazeera in Egypt

Ahram Online, Monday 19 Aug 2013

Qatari-based Al-Jazeera is suspect and under scrutiny in Egypt, with the Cabinet calling for authorities to check into the news giant's legality and legitimacy to work in the strife-ridden country

Egypt's Cabinet requests the "appropriate authorities consider the legality and legitimacy" of Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr television channel and whether it should be permitted to continue working in Egypt.

In a televised statement read by Information Minister Dorreya Sharaf Eddin on Sunday, the Cabinet said the Egyptian people "disapproved of the channel... as it threatened their safety, stability and national unity."

The channel has been accused of bias toward the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and of unprofessionalism during coverage of recent events unfolding in the country.

On Saturday, Armed Forces Spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali said that the channel is spreading "lies" about the army's role in clashes in downtown Cairo, calling on citizens not to take seriously "media outlets that distort reality to serve a political agenda."

Meanwhile, the cabinet also decided in its statement to consider forming an independent committee to "document the recent events" that erupted in the country following president Mohamed Morsi's ouster.

It also said it would honour police and Armed Forces "martyrs" who died in recent violence by putting their names on schools, streets and public squares.

The interior ministry announced that 43 policemen were killed in clashes as they dispersed the two major Islamist pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo on Wednesday. The total death toll stood at over 600 with thousands injured, the majority civilians.

In addition, the Cabinet ordered the formation of the National Council for Human Rights and urged the formation of the Supreme Press Council.

On Monday 5 August interim President Adly Mansour issued a presidential decree to form a 15-member interim Supreme Press Council to oversee Egypt's press affairs after an Islamist-dominant board was dissolved following Morsi's ouster on 3 July amid nationwide protests against his rule.


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