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Egypt: 45 press violations in July, says media watchdog

Old newspapers are on sale at Cairo's historic al-Azbakeya book market at downtown in Cairo on 16 January, 2019 [MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images]
Newspapers are on sale at a book market at in Cairo, Egypt on 16 January 2019 [MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images]

A rights organisation providing news on press freedom has monitored 45 violations of press freedom in Egypt in July.

According to the Arab Observatory for Media Freedom 13 people have been arrested and detained; there have been five violations of distribution rights recorded and four unfair trials have taken place.

There have been three cases of arbitrary administrative decisions, says the watchdog, one case of assault and death threats and nine violations against female journalists.

The report adds to growing concern over press censorship in Egypt, which has worsened under the current president.

READ: 2,761 women tortured and degraded since Egypt coup

At the end of June journalists Hisham Fouad and Hossam Mounas were arrested as part of the Hope Alliance case, an electoral coalition of civil forces which planned to run in the next elections and who have been accused of being members of a terrorist group.

Freedom of press in Egypt - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Freedom of press in Egypt – Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

On 23 June El-Tahrir website announced it would be insolvent in two months after exhausting all attempts to unblock its website since last May. No official reason was given for the block.

In December 2015 Al-Araby Al-Jadeed was blocked, and since then a further 500 websites have been blocked for allegedly being a threat to national security. A law was later issued which threated Egyptians accessing blocked sites with jail.

In 2018 the Committee to Protect Journalists has classified Egypt among the top four jailers of journalists in the world.

Egypt is ranked as 161 out of 180 countries in the 2018 Press Freedom Index.

A sinister reminder of the Egyptian authorities' crackdown on outspoken Egyptians came from Immigration Minister Nabila Makram in June, who threatened to cut the throats of any Egyptian abroad who criticised the country.

READ: Egyptians defend minister's calls to cut throats of dissidents

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