Egypt's state Al-Akhbar newspaper stops articles by prominent intellectuals

News article, posted 08.15.2012, from Egypt, in:
Mohammed Saad
Egypt's state Al-Akhbar newspaper stops articles by prominent intellectuals (Photo: Al Ahram)

Following news that Egypt's state-owned Al-Akhbar newspaper had censored articles by prominent writers, the newspaper's management took further decisions regarding who was to share opinion on their pages. According to Moemen Khalifa, editor of the opinion pages, the number of opinion pages will be reduced from three to two, and will prioritise articles from Al-Akhbar employees over those written by independent writers. The replaced page will include topics on economics, local policy and readers' letters, Khalifa told Ahram Online.

The change means that writers, such as Ibrahim Abdel-Meguid and Youssef El-Qaeed, will no longer write for Al-Akhbar.

For Abdel-Meguid, the move is meant to sideline writers known for their critical views of the Muslim Brotherhood. Later on Wednesday, however, Khalifa refuted this, stating that the two pages would include articles by known opposition figures, such as Mahmoud El-Wardani and others. However, this seems to contradict earlier actions by the newspaper.

Earlier Wednesday, El-Qaeed, an Egyptian writer and novelist, told Ahram Online that state-owned newspaper Al-Akhbar on Sunday refused to publish his latest article in which he criticises the Muslim Brotherhood. El-Qaeed said that his article – entitled, "Neither Adherence nor Obedience," denounced the Brotherhood members and supporters who allegedly beat television presenters and injured journalist Khaled Salah during a Wednesday demonstration at Egyptian Media Production City against those who allegedly spread false rumours about President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamist group. El-Qaeed confirmed that he was writing under contact signed with the previous editor-in-chief of the newspaper.

The paper's new editor-in-chief, Mohamed Hassan El-Banna, who was recently appointed by the Brotherhood-led Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament), denied the ban, saying that the newspaper had not received any articles from the writer.


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