Britain’s Times slams Egypt over journalist’s deportation

Bel Trew
Updated 25 March 2018

Britain’s Times slams Egypt over journalist’s deportation

LONDON: Egypt has deported a British journalist working for The Times, the newspaper said on Saturday, describing an “increasingly oppressive environment” for media in the country ahead of next week’s presidential election.
The Times said its correspondent, 33-year-old Bel Trew who had been based in Cairo for several years, was arrested while reporting and “forced to leave Egypt.”
“The Times deplores this attempt by the Egyptian authorities to intimidate the media and suppress our coverage,” a statement by the newspaper said, adding that Egyptian authorities had “no intention of allowing (Trew) to return.”
Egypt’s government foreign press center, the Interior Ministry, and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s office, did not respond to phone calls and requests for comment via WhatsApp.
Trew said in a separate article published by The Times that she was detained by police in central Cairo on her way to conduct an interview, held for almost 24 hours and then “marched onto a plane” at Cairo airport bound for London.
Her deportation follows what human rights groups call a crackdown on press freedom aimed at stifling dissent in the run-up to the March 26-28 presidential election.
Egyptian authorities have urged legal action against media outlets they deem to be publishing “fake news,” and rights activists say several local journalists have also been arrested in recent months.
El-Sisi, a former military commander, is virtually guaranteed to win a second term after all serious opposition pulled out of the race citing intimidation after a major challenger was jailed.
The election commission says the vote will be free and fair and El-Sisi has said he wanted more candidates to run.
El-Sisi’s critics say he has presided over an intensifying crackdown on dissent. Supporters say tough measures are needed to stabilize the country after years of unrest that followed a 2011 popular uprising.
A British Foreign Office spokeswoman said the foreign secretary had raised Trew’s deportation with his Egyptian counterpart.
“The Egyptian authorities have not shared any evidence of wrongdoing. We will continue to press them on this case,” she added.

Saudi Arabia, UAE discuss media cooperation

Updated 12 min 32 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, UAE discuss media cooperation

  • The Saudi minister said the plans discussed looked to help increase investment in the media sector and activating the media market

DUBAI: The Joint Committee for Media Cooperation of the Saudi-UAE Coordination Council held its first meeting in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to discuss joint initiatives of the two countries, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The committee discussed joint media initiatives and programs that aim to unify efforts to highlight and to develop media content in a way that contributes to consolidating and enhancing joint action.

“We seek to strengthen the bonds of cooperation between us and support the media sector through a number of programs and projects that will contribute to the development of the sector,” Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Information, Turki Al-Shabanah, said.

“Raising the quality of production between the two countries in a way that contributes to improving the level of audio-visual media work and raising the efficiency and competitiveness of social media,” Al-Shabanah added.

The Saudi minister said the plans discussed looked to help increase investment in the media sector and activating the media market.

Meanwhile, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the National Media Council, Sultan Al-Jaber said that the two countries look to establish the foundations, rules and principles that consolidate and strengthen the two nation’s common media vision and development media programs that serve their objectives.

“We look forward to this committee to be a unique media platform that … works to transfer experiences in order to enrich the media content and prepare and qualify a constellation of young media leaders in the two brotherly countries,” Al-Jaber said.