Amnesty International has issued a statement saying that journalism in Egypt has become a crime over the past four years, as the authorities crush all opposition and anti-official voices. The organisation has criticised the Egyptian government for extending its detention of journalists and the confiscation of freedom of the press and the media. “The Egyptian authorities have made it very clear that anyone who challenges the official narrative will be severely punished,” said Middle East and North Africa director, Philip Luther.
The organisation documented 37 cases of detention of journalists, including 12 journalists working in state-owned media outlets for expressing differing views on social media. Many of them have been accused of spreading false news or the misuse of social media. The organisation stated that, despite the number of coronavirus infections in Egypt, the government is strengthening its control over information instead of upholding transparency during the crisis. The organisation’s statement comes in the context of celebrating World Press Freedom Day.