SCMR announces licencing requests despite widespread criticism

The Supreme Council for Media Regulation announced that all press and media institutions will have to submit licencing requests in accordance with the recently issued regulations, in order to settle their legal status including those who have already applied for licencing to the council.

At the beginning of March, the council issued its executive regulations of the press and media in Egypt. The regulation also stressed that it is not permissible to transfer any media content inside Egypt to a media outlet or a website operating from outside the republic unless it obtains a licence to do so from the Supreme Council. The regulation also states that it is not permissible to record or photograph any meetings in public places for the purpose of presenting them to the media except after a statement from the Supreme Council is issued. The council determines the controls, procedures and conditions for granting the permit and its duration.

The newspapers are obliged to print their publications in licenced printers in Egypt, and register with the Supreme Council. With regard to websites, the regulation stipulated that there must be a copy of the servers hosting the site inside Egypt, that it to be known to the council and that it can only be changed with the council’s approval.

Human rights organisations have criticised the law, which they say will further tighten media censorship, and would also severely undermine freedom of expression.