Media Blog

Egyptian independent newspapers strike over press freedom

Independent and opposition newspapers in Egypt held a rare one-day strike on Sunday to protest government interference with freedom of the press. The action was in response to the one-year prison terms handed down to the editors of four newspapers who were charged with “defaming” Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after they mentioned that he had been in ill health.

(For background on this issue, see this report by MEMRI.)
Egypt’s persecuted Bedouin community is also unhappy with the Mubarak government. On Saturday and Sunday thousands of Bedouin went on a rampage in the streets of Al-Arish in the Sinai to protest what they say is the government’s refusal to help them. Rioters burned the office of the ruling party and destroyed pictures of Mubarak. Several people were injured.
And Israel is furious with its “peace partner” Egypt too. Yesterday Egyptian authorities permitted dozens of Islamic Jihad gunmen into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing, which lies between Egypt and Gaza. The majority were members of the military wing (“the Al-Quds Brigades”) of the Islamic Jihad movement, one of the most lethal terrorist groups in the world. Sources said they had been abroad for “training”.

Tom Gross — Tom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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