A lawyer acting for women activists in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has filed a complaint with the general prosecutor against the editor-in-chief of Alfajr weekly newspaper and one of its journalists. The complaint called for the two journalists to be referred to the criminal court for publishing “false news in bad faith”.
In the complaint submitted on Saturday, Abdel Moneim Abdel-Maksoud said that the complainants were surprised that the defendants had published an article in Alfajr under the title, “Comfort women… political and sexual exploitation of the Brotherhood women”. The story was accompanied by a picture of a woman carrying a banner of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
According to Mr. Abdel-Maksoud, “The article represents an affront to the values of a free press, which should aim to build the community.” It is libellous against the claimants and the Muslim Brotherhood, he added, noting that this type of attack was used in the [Mubarak] era; “We thought that the revolution had come to change the negativity of that period.”
In closing, Mr. Abdel-Maksoud accused the defendants of having “misused freedom of opinion and expression, and offended the honour of the complainants under the cover of this freedom”. This, he claimed, did not follow the ethics of professional journalism: “It’s as if they were trying to bring themselves fame and popularity at the expense of the reputations of others,” he said.