Egypt court orders release of pro-government TV host

Khairi Ramadan was detained for four more days pending the completion of the investigation.
Updated 05 March 2018
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Egypt court orders release of pro-government TV host

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the release of a pro-government talk show host accused of insulting the police and disseminating false news on his state TV program, his lawyer said.
Khairi Ramadan was released on bail of 10,000 Egyptian pounds, about $570, according to his lawyer, Taher el-Khouly. The case has not been dropped, and prosecutors can appeal his release.
Ramadan was detained Saturday after a segment about police salaries. He said the wife of an unnamed police colonel had told him she was considering working as a housekeeper to supplement their meager income.
Egypt has regularly detained and prosecuted journalists since the military overthrow of an elected president from the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013, part of a wider crackdown on dissent. Authorities have stepped up pressure on the media ahead of this month’s presidential election, in which President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi faces no serious challenge.
Authorities are especially sensitive to any perceived criticism of the police or military.
The head of Egypt’s media regulatory agency said in comments published Monday in the independent Al-Shorouk newspaper that Ramadan should be released after he offered an apology.
Makram Mohammed Ahmed said Ramadan’s continuing detention hurts Egypt’s image.
Meanwhile, a human rights lawyer who went missing days ago resurfaced before the Supreme State Security Prosecution in Cairo, his group said late Sunday.
Ezzat Ghoneim, of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, was the first to confirm the arrest on Wednesday of a woman who was interviewed by the BBC for a report about forced disappearances that angered Egyptian authorities. The woman had said police were behind her daughter’s disappearance a year ago and that her daughter had been tortured in prison during an earlier detention, allegations denied by authorities.
The statement said Ghoneim’s whereabouts have been unknown even to his family since his arrest last Thursday, and that prosecutors have barred his lawyers from the proceedings.


Facebook accused of discrimination with job ad targeting

Updated 19 September 2018
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Facebook accused of discrimination with job ad targeting

  • It charges that job ads on Facebook targeted male users only
  • Facebook lets advertisers target ads on the basis of gender and age, which is against the law in America

WASHINGTON: A complaint has been filed with the US government accusing Facebook and 10 other companies of using the platform’s job ad targeting system to discriminate on the basis of gender.
The complaint was announced Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, a union called the Communications Workers of America and a labor law firm, on behalf of three female job seekers and a group of “thousands” of members represented by the union.
It charges that job ads on Facebook targeted male users only. It also alleges that most of the listings were for jobs in male-dominated fields, so women and non-binary users were excluded from seeing these ads.
Facebook lets advertisers target ads on the basis of gender and age, which is against the law in America, the complaint reads.
“I shouldn’t be shut out of the chance to hear about a job opportunity just because I am a woman,” said Bobbi Spees, one of the three women named in the complaint.
Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne said in a statement to CNNMoney that there is no place for discrimination on Facebook.
“It’s strictly prohibited in our policies, and over the past year we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse,” Osborne said.
Facebook will defend itself once it has reviewed the complaint, he added.
The ACLU noted that online platforms such as Facebook are generally not liable for content published by others.
“But in this case, Facebook is doing much more than merely publishing content created by others,” the advocacy group argued.
“It has built the architecture for this discriminatory marketing framework, enabled and encouraged advertisers to use it, and delivered the gender-based ads according to employers’ sex-based preferences.”
Last month the US Department of Housing and Urban Development accused Facebook of breaking the law by letting landlords and home sellers use its ad-targeting system to discriminate against potential buyers or tenants.
Facebook responded by cutting more than 5,000 ad-targeting options to prevent advertisers from discriminating on the basis of traits such as religion or race.