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Egypt targets bloggers, social media users in new draft law

Social Media apps [Wall Boat/Flickr]
Social Media apps [Wall Boat/Flickr]

Social media users, blogs and personal website which have more than 5,000 followers will be governed in the same way media outlets are in Egypt, if a new draft law is brought into effect.

The Egyptian Parliament has approved draft laws which regulate the work of media outlets, journalists and the Higher Council for Media Regulation yesterday, El-Shorouk news site reported, and referred the laws to the State Council for legal review before they are submitted to the president for ratification.

According to the site, Article 19 of the draft law prohibits media outlets including online websites from publishing or broadcasting false news, or news that incites to violence, hatred, discrimination, racism or intolerance as well as blasphemy. The draft law includes personal website or online blogs with at least 5,000 followers.

The Egyptian parliament passed three draft laws which regulate the work of the Higher Council for Media Regulation, the National Press Authority and the National Media Authority yesterday.

Brotherhood official: Egypt is arresting opponents in search of its lapsed legitimacy

Since coming to power in a military coup in 2013, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has ordered a crackdown on dissent including on online activists who are highlighting the abuses carried out by his regime.

Journalists are regularly accused of belonging to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the party from which the ousted president belonged, and jailed following military court hearings in which they are rarely given the opportunity for defence.

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