Egypt hands BBC protest note over report on alleged ‘forced disappearances’

SIS Chief Diaa Rashwan (R) hands BBC Cairo bureau chief Safaa Faisal an official protest note during a Cairo meeting (Photo courtesy of SIS)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Egypt hands BBC protest note over report on alleged ‘forced disappearances’

CAIRO: Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) handed the BBC Cairo bureau a protest note over its controversial report on alleged forced disappearances the report claimed were carried out by Egyptian authorities.

SIS chief Diaa Rashwan handed the BBC’s Cairo bureau chief Safaa Faisal the objection note reacting to the report, saying the body demands “an official apology” from the British broadcaster over the report.

The head of BBC Cairo bureau, Safaa Faisal, praised the dialogue taking place between SIS and BBC, vowing that the British news network would seriously study the notes sent by SIS, local newspaper reports said.

“The Shadow Over Egypt” was a BBC report published in February that claimed Egypt’s security apparatuses participated in the enforced disappearance of Egyptian citizens.

Zubeida Ibrahim, an Egyptian woman mentioned in the report as one of those “forcibly disappeared,” has appeared on Egyptian television to refute the BBC disappearance and torture claims.

The incident stirred wide controversy between the Egyptian state and the British network, with the SIS accusing BBC of fabricating the story.


Despite setbacks, Arab summit at media forefront

Updated 20 January 2019
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Despite setbacks, Arab summit at media forefront

  • Japanese journalist says they have to cover the summit because the Mideast region is too important for Japan
  • TV, print and radio journalists were given the necessary equipment and space to allow constant reporting of the summit’s opening remarks

BEIRUT: Journalists from across the world gathered in Lebanon’s Beirut Waterfront to cover the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit on Sunday despite the tumultuous days leading up to the event.

It was not just Arab and Middle Eastern journalists who were present at the summit’s official media center; reporters from Japan, Europe and the US were also in attendance. 

There were conflicting reports on the number of journalists attending, ranging from 600 to double that. The summit’s official spokesman Dany Najim said 1,200 journalists covered the event. 

In addition to journalists working with news organizations and institutions were those traveling as part of country delegations. 

The Arab League sent 11 journalists, while official numbers put an average of 10 journalists per delegation. 

“We must cover the summit. The region is very important to us. It’s where we buy oil and gas,” said a Japanese journalist.

TV, print and radio journalists were given the necessary equipment and space to allow constant reporting of the summit’s opening remarks. While they were placed in a hall adjacent to the main summit meeting room, two large screens were continuously airing the summit’s activities and talks.

Rigid security protocols were in place for the safety of attending delegations. Roads starting from Beirut’s Phoenicia Hotel in Minet Al-Hosn district all the way to Al-Nahar newspaper’s offices in Martyrs’ Square were closed as part of a security zone. 

Transportation of journalists was organized by the summit, where a bus was available round the clock to pick them up and take them to the Monroe Hotel — the media hub for the summit — in Minet Al-Hosn, before taking another bus to the Beirut Waterfront.

Several stores and restaurants were forced to shut for the days of the summit, while some issued mass text messages to the public to announce that they will stay open.

This is the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit. The previous ones were hosted by Kuwait in 2009, Egypt in 2011, and Saudi Arabia in 2013.