Source: Associated Press
By HAMZA HENDAWI
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s chief prosecutor told his staff Wednesday to closely monitor the media and move against any they consider to be “hurting national interests,” the latest move by authorities to suppress any dissenting voices ahead of elections seen as virtually a one-man race ensuring the re-election of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
The government has already sought to exert heavy control over reporting on the March 26-28 election, issuing guidelines barring journalists from asking people who they would vote for beforehand or from conducting any polling. Authorities have also increasingly depicted criticism as a violation of national security at a time when Egypt is trying to revive its economy battered by years of turmoil and contain an insurgency by Islamic militants.
In a brief statement, top prosecutor Nabil Sadeq said “forces of evil” — one of el-Sissi’s hallmark phrases — have recently been trying to “undermine the security and safety of the nation through the broadcast and publication of lies and false news.”