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Egyptian army shuts down media outlets

By Sara Yasin / 4 July, 2013

Media outlets in Egypt sympathising with ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi have been shut down. Sara Yasin reports

Egypt’s military has shut down media outlets after the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi.

The offices of Al-Jazeera’s Cairo-based station, Al-Jazeera Mubashir, were yesterday raided by security forces. The raid took place in the middle of a live broadcast and five employees were detained, according to the station. Four have now been released.

Coverage of a pro-Morsi rally was also disrupted, according to Karim El-Assiuti, one of the channel’s reporters.

Al-Jazeera’s Egyptian channel has been accused by critics of being biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood in its coverage. Morsi is a member of the Islamist organisation’s party political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.

Security forces also shut down Egypt25, a Muslim Brotherhood run station, and arrested its managers. The closure came only minutes after Egypt’s defence minister announced plans for the country’s transition. According to state-run Al-Ahram, two Salafist stations were also taken off the air after police reportedly entered their offices.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has reported that army officials also entered state media offices “to monitor content and ensure the military’s messages are broadcast.”

Index on Censorship CEO Kirsty Hughes today condemned the closures, and said “if the commitment to a road map to restoring democracy is genuine, it must include a free and open media that can represent all views in society.”

Sara Yasin is an Editorial Assistant at Index. She tweets from @missyasin

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