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Maspero must stop ‘muzzling’ voices of dissent: ANHRI - Daily News Egypt

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Maspero must stop ‘muzzling’ voices of dissent: ANHRI

Human rights groups decries cancelation of TV show after if refused censorship

With the censorship and subsequent discontinuation of the television news program “Revolutionaries all the Way” broadcast on state-run Channel 3, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has accused the government of furthering the crackdown on media.

Broadcast of “Revolutionaries all the Way” was cancelled after the 3 March episode when the programme’s producers refused to comply with requests for censorship made by Regional Head of Radio and Television Channels Hany Jaafar.

Originally broadcast live, episodes of “Revolutionaries all the Way” were ordered to be pre-recorded so they could be censored by Maspero – the head of state media – before being aired.

The latest episode, set to air on 5 March, was cancelled after the production staff refused to comply with censorship demands, and the show has since been pulled from the network.

In a statement, ANHRI said that Maspero’s decision to censor, and then cancel “Revolutionaries all the Way” presents “a clear violation of freedom of expression, and a violation of what is stated in the principles of the new constitution which ensures freedom of opinion and expression.”

The statement added that “muzzling” voices of dissent and imposing one opinion is a return to the repressive eras of ousted presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi.

ANHRI has demanded that “Revolutionaries all the Way” be returned to the air without censorship, and that the government end a series of steps taken to “silence any voice that does not satisfy the state.”

Egypt has experienced an increasingly severe crackdown on voices of dissent. Twenty journalists, many from Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera are facing trial on charges of terrorism and spreading false news.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked Egypt the third most dangerous country for journalists after Syria and Iraq, and it ranked 159th out of 180 in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders “Press Freedom Index.”

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