Egypt tightens restrictions on media, social networks

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi speaks at a panel on ‘Social Media: Saving or enslaving users?’ in the World Youth Forum at Sharm El Sheikh on November 5, 2018. (Pedro Costa Gomes/Bee Interactive/AFP)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Egypt tightens restrictions on media, social networks

  • The Supreme Media Regulatory Council will also be able to impose stiff penalties of up to 250,000 Egyptian pounds
  • Prominent Egyptian journalists are calling the measures unconstitutional

CAIRO: Egypt’s top media regulator has put into effect tighter restrictions that allow the state to block websites and even social media accounts with over 5,000 followers if they’re deemed a threat to national security.
The Supreme Media Regulatory Council will also be able to impose stiff penalties of up to 250,000 Egyptian pounds ($14,400), all without having to obtain a court order.
Critics say some of the measures, published in the official gazette late Monday, are stricter than those approved by lawmakers last year.
Prominent Egyptian journalists are calling the measures unconstitutional, saying they grant far-reaching powers to authorities to censor the media, in violation of basic press freedoms.
Mohamed Abdel-Hafiz says he and fellow member of the journalists’ union will mount a legal challenge to the new measures.


Bulgaria: Killer of TV journalist gets 30 years in prison

Viktoria Marinova. (AFP)
Updated 23 April 2019
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Bulgaria: Killer of TV journalist gets 30 years in prison

  • Media watchdog Journalists Without Borders had accused authorities of trying to impede the inquest and sweep the crime under the carpet

SOFIA: A 21-year-old man was Monday sentenced to 30 years in prison for the brutal rape and murder of a Bulgarian television presenter, avoiding a life term after confessing to the crime.
Severin Krasimirov, also Bulgarian, was arrested in Germany where he had fled after assaulting and killing Viktoria Marinova on October 6.
A court in the northeastern Bulgarian city of Ruse also ordered him to pay 450,000 leva (230,000 euros, $259,000) to Marinova’s family.
Prosecutors said the crime was “linked to sexual motives and had no links to the profession of the victim.” They added that Krasimirov was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the “brutal rape.”
The court said Marinova, 30, was killed “in a particularly brutal manner” after being grabbed while jogging in an alley along the Danube.
She was due to present a new program in which she pledged to unveil serious cases of corruption.
Media watchdog Journalists Without Borders had accused authorities of trying to impede the inquest and sweep the crime under the carpet.