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Egypt warns foreign journalists to follow Egyptian narrative

January 30, 2014 at 3:08 am

Foreign media correspondents have received warnings from the Egyptian authority and asked to be cautious when covering incidents in the country, The Times newspaper said.

The Times said that the Egyptian government, backed by the army, told the foreign correspondents that their coverage is being censored. The newspaper said that the Egyptian authority is censoring anyone “distorting” the country’s “positive image abroad.”

The State Information Service (SIS) said that a number of its offices inside and outside Egypt are monitoring foreign journalists who cover incidents in Egypt.

According to the British newspaper, the warning came after 50 media organisations, The Times among them, had signed a petition calling for the release of Al-Jazeera journalists, including the Australian Peter Greste. The journalists were accused of being affiliated to a terrorist organisation.

The Times said that the Egyptian defence minister Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi had rebuked foreign journalists for not reporting the killing of 600 Egyptians in last August as part of the war on terrorism.

It continued, “Egyptian media outlets toed the Government line and called for a “yes” vote in this week’s referendum on changes to the constitution.”

SIS removed the warning from the website and claimed that there was a translation mistake. The newspaper said that the spokesman of the Egyptian foreign ministry was reported as then saying, “We are fully welcoming of visiting foreign correspondents here in Egypt.”