Egypt's censorship authority raid Merit Publishing house in Cairo

Mohammed Saad , Tuesday 29 Dec 2015

The owner Mohamed Hashem says not sure what the reasons behind the raid are

Mohamed Hashim
Merit Publishing house owner Mohamed Hashem (Al-Ahram)

Egypt’s censorship authority raided and searched on Tuesday afternoon Merit Publishing house in downtown Cairo without providing any reason, owner Mohamed Hashem wrote on his Facebook page.

Staff member Mohamed Zein, 23, was arrested during the raid then released a few hours later.

Mohammed Hashem, the owner of Merit, was not arrested or interrogated when he turned himself in to Abdeen police station, according to Sameh Samir, a lawyer who was present with them at the time told Ahram Online.

'Publishing license'

Hashem added that he is currently at Merit, which is open, and that a previously planned book discussion organised for Tuesday evening will go ahead.

Hashem also said that an aide to the interior minister told him that the censorship authorities raided the venue because "they don't have a publishing license."

The owner of Merit publishing House confirmed to Ahram Online that he doesn't currently have a publishing license.

"I haven't completed all the necessary paperwork needed for the new place yet but I’m working on it now. I was not arrested or interrogated.

Hashem also said that he would attempt to receive a publishing license from the Ministry of Culture and proceed to legalise the house in the next few days.

However, Hashem questioned the timing of the raid, saying that his publishing house is well known and that it is very established.

Merit moved earlier this month to a new office in downtown Cairo.

"I went to turn myself in because I knew that my staffer was arrested- the police said that this happened because I wasn't there myself," Hashem said.

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