Egypt Watch

Egypt: Guardian correspondent forced out of Egypt

The Guardian newspaper has revealed that the Egyptian security forces pressured their correspondent in Egypt Ruth Michaelson to leave the country after they published an article by her saying that the number of coronavirus infections in Egypt exceeds official figures. The State Information Service published Tweets last Tuesday announcing the closure of the Guardian newspaper office and the revocation of its license, before it deleted the tweets and issued an official statement that it was withdrawing the accreditation of correspondent Ruth Michaelson without closing the office. According to the newspaper, the British embassy in Egypt informed Michelson that she must leave Egypt on a plane bound for Germany.

Michaelson published a statistical study by a Canadian researcher in which he estimated that the number of infected cases in Egypt was 19,000, while the official figures at that time indicated less than 100 cases only. Egypt prohibits all journalists and reporters from publishing any government data or numbers without consulting the authorities and gaining their permission to publish. Several human rights organisations condemned the decision of the Egyptian government to withdraw the accreditation of the Guardian correspondent, and pointed out that the Egyptian authorities have committed many violations and restrictions on foreign journalists in Egypt and several media organisations including Reuters, The Times, Russia today, El Mundo, and the BBC.