The Ministry of Interior has dropped complaints filed to the General Prosecution against Al-Masry Al-Youm and Al-Youm Al-Sabaa newspapers over publishing cases.
The ministry had pressed charges in the past few months against the two newspapers for “publishing false news” and “libellous content” related to the ministry.
In April, five Al-Masry Al-Youm reporters were transferred to investigation, days after publishing a special report on alleged police violations.
Al-Masry Al-Youm, a privately-owned independent daily newspaper, had published a seven-page special report, repackaging a set of previously published reports on police violations against protestors, citizens, detainees, and even conscripts.
In response, the Ministry of Interior released a statement criticising the content of the report, describing it as “libellous”, and vowed to take legal action against the newspaper.
On Saturday, the Editor-in-Chief and a reporter from privately-owned Al-Youm Al-Sabaa newspaper were investigated by the prosecution over a report filed by the Ministry of Interior accusing the newspaper of publishing false news.
The ministry filed a report to the prosecution accusing the newspaper of publishing a false report on 11 June. It claimed that a “terrorist” attacked cars from the presidency’s motorcade, while on their way back to Cairo from the resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai.
The prosecution released Khaled Salah, the newspaper’s editor, and El-Sayed Gharib Mansour, the reporter, after the investigation, on EGP 10,000 bail each. They had been charged with the journalists with “publishing false news that can endanger general security, terrorise people and harm public interest”.
Following the ministry’s request to drop the charges, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat subsequently announced in a statement that the prosecution will take up the required legal procedures.
The prosecution itself had referred Al-Bayan newspaper’s CEO, its Editor-in-Chief and a reporter to an urgent criminal trial over a publishing case.
The article in question covered the assassination of six prosecutors. The prosecution accused the newspaper of publishing false news that can endanger general security, terrorise people and harm the public interest.
The press, prior to the ministry dropping the charges, started a meeting with the attendance of private and state-owned newspapers’ editors to discuss the reports filed against journalists in publishing cases.