Diaa Rashwan, Head of the State Information Service (SIS), has met with two US journalists based in Cairo over their reporting of recent events in Egypt.
On Saturday evening, Rashwan met with the Washington Post’s Cairo Bureau Chief, Sudarsan Raghavan. Raghavan briefed Radwan on misconduct and misinformation carried out by the newspaper’s latest reports on Egypt.
During the meeting, Rashwan, who also heads Egypt’s Press Syndicate, criticised recent reports by the journalist, which he said included fallacies and incorrect information, and violated all rules of journalism.
Rashwan said the articles relied on anonymous sources for information, rather than direct and transparent ones, and included sources outside Egypt, whilst also neglecting balance and transparency.
Rashwan handed Raghavan two letters, of which one was sent to the Washington Post’s editor-in-chief, Martin Baron. The letter included an outline of all the professional violations carried out by the newspaper’s Cairo team.
The letter also held a “warning” that the appropriate measures permitted under Egyptian law will be taken against the newspaper, in the event these professional abuses that offend Egypt and distort reality continue.
Rashwan also met with Declan Walsh, the New York Times’ Cairo Bureau Chief, during which the two discussed the reported professional errors in some of Walsh’s recent reports on Egypt.
In March, Rashwan issued a warning to the New York Times correspondent, after Walsh tweeted findings by a Canadian study on the coronavirus in Egypt. The study said that the actual number of cases in Egypt was likely higher than the officially reported number of cases.
Also in March, Rashwan withdrew the accreditation of The Guardian journalist Ruth Michaelson over her reporting on the same Canadian study.
On 20 May, the SIS said that it will hold a regular monthly meeting on the first Tuesday of every month for accredited foreign correspondents in the country, starting from 2 June. The meetings, led by Rashwan, will allow correspondents the opportunity to make enquiries related to their work and their coverage of Egyptian affairs. The meetings will be held at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Downtown Cairo.