Court orders detention of Egyptian TV anchor in ‘child abduction’ case

Reham Saeed has been detained for allegedly ‘inciting the kidnapping of two children.’ (Courtesy Al-Nahar TV)
Updated 19 February 2018
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Court orders detention of Egyptian TV anchor in ‘child abduction’ case

CAIRO: Egypt’s Public Prosecution on Monday ordered the detention of controversial TV host Reham Saeed for her alleged “incitement” of a “child abduction” case as part of a program on the topic, it has been reported.
Saeed will be detained for four days pending investigations, along with her program’s producers and editors, on charges of “inciting the kidnapping of two children to prepare an episode of the program,” newspaper reports said.
The prosecution had previously ordered the detention of the program’s producer and photographer for 15 days in relation to the case.
Saeed has been off air for the past few weeks after an episode on child kidnapping in Egypt landed her in hot water.
It is reported that a producer in her team got in touch with a gang that kidnaps children and puts them for sale. Allegedly pretending to be a customer for the purpose of the episode, the producer contacted the gang and asked if she could purchase “two children for 300,000 Egyptian pounds,” to which the gang agreed.
On the day the gang decided to hand over the children, the producer said authorities were informed of the matter, and knew the time and location of where the children were going to be exchanged.
It is reported that police had raided the location, arrested the kidnappers and freed the children.
But the “Sabaya El-Khair” program team were later accused by the kidnapers of “inciting the abduction of the children” by offering the money.
Saeed reportedly faces three charges: The assistance and incitement to kidnap children; broadcasting false news that could disturb social peace; and the trafficking of children, according to Al-Masry El-Youm.
Judicial sources reportedly said that Saeed denied knowing about the process of the alleged child abductions, and that she simply presents the show and discusses what the editor prepares for her.
Saeed not only denies the allegations, but says her program has worked on “aiding the children of Egypt” and would never take part in a kidnapping.
Saeed was previously suspended in 2016 when she hosted a sexual harassment victim on air and allegedly blamed her “inappropriate clothing” as reason for the assault.


HBO website and comedian John Oliver censored in China

Updated 24 June 2018
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HBO website and comedian John Oliver censored in China

  • After mocking censors working over time to delete comparisons of President Xi Jinping with the cartoon bear, comedian John Oliver and now the website of TV giant HBO have fallen victim to China’s censorship machine
  • HBO joins a long list of Western media outlets that have had their websites blocked in China including The New York Times, Facebook, and Twitter

BEIJING: It was one Winnie the Pooh joke too far.
After mocking censors working over time to delete comparisons of President Xi Jinping with the cartoon bear, comedian John Oliver and now the website of TV giant HBO have fallen victim to China’s censorship machine.
Chinese authorities blocked HBO’s website in China, just days after Oliver took Xi to task, anti-censorship and monitoring group GreatFire.org said on Saturday.
HBO joins a long list of Western media outlets that have had their websites blocked in China including The New York Times, Facebook, and Twitter.
“China: the country responsible for huge technological advances but it still can’t seem to get pandas to f***,” Oliver opened the episode of “Last Week Tonight” that is causing the problems.
Those technological advances include draconian surveillance and censorship measures which appear to have made HBO and Oliver their latest victims.
Oliver’s name and that of the show he hosts were censored on China’s popular twitter like Weibo.
“Send failure” Weibo returned when AFP attempted to post Oliver’s name.
“Content is illegal!” the service said.
YouTube, which also airs “Last Week Tonight,” has long been blocked in China.
Oliver’s segment dug into Xi’s distaste at comparisons to the self-described “bear of very little brain” and introduced viewers to repressive changes underway in the world’s most populous country.
Chinese netizens have often compared Xi to A.A. Milne’s most famous creation, something that censors have been quick to purge inside the Great Firewall.
The segment also recounted recent headlines: from Xi becoming “emperor for life” to a corruption purge that targeted his political rivals, to a crackdown on freedom of expression, human rights, and religion, to an ongoing suppression and imprisonment campaign against China’s Uighur ethnic minority.
“Xi is actively removing the post-Mao guardrails that were put in place,” Oliver said of changes to China’s constitution which allow him to remain in power indefinitely.
“China is becoming more authoritarian just as it has major plans for expansion onto the world stage,” Oliver said as the segment neared an end.
“The era of do as we say may be dawning.”