Egypt Daily Update: Journalists Allege Firing over Objection to Island Transfer

August 1, 2017

Journalists Allege Firing over Objection to Island Transfer

Journalist Accused of Brotherhood Ties Released after Two Years

Supply Ministry Begins Implementing New Bread Subsidy System

Cartoon of the Day: Patience

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Journalists Allege Firing over Objection to Island Transfer

Three journalists working for the privately run newspaper Youm7 [Ar] claimed that the news agency’s editor in chief, Khalid Salahfired [Ar] them on Sunday for not supporting the recently ratified maritime demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Journalists Maher Abdel WahedAbdel Rahman Maklad, and Medhat Sawfwat stated on Facebook that Salah ordered them to accept a year’s leave without pay as a result of their stance against the island transfer deal. They claim that when they refused, they were fired. Maklad claimed that President al-Sisi had asked Salah personally to fire all journalists against the agreement. Mada Masr reported [Ar] that Salah told the group during the meeting that “at Youm7, you cannot insult or criticize the state or the President of the Republic.”

Youm7 had previously stated that the journalists were fired because they were being funded and managed by Iran and Hezbollah, and were connected to the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar. Youm7 stated in a news story that “the three journalists engaged in a clear conspiracy against the Presidency and Youm7.” After the journalists posted their statements on Facebook, the news agency accused the journalists of defamation and said that it is following judicial procedures at the Journalist Syndicate.


Journalist Accused of Brotherhood Ties Released after Two Years

Mohammed al-Batawi, formerly a journalist with Akhbar al-Youm, was ordered to be released [Ar] last Thursday by the State Security Prosecution after being detained without a trial for 25 months. Al-Batawi was originally arrested on June 17, 2015, on suspicion of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood during a raid by masked security force members. Al-Batawi was taken to an unknown location after his arrest for two weeks and held incommunicado, which led to a complaint from the Egyptian Journalist Syndicate on his behalf. Prosecutors have never released any evidence proving that al-Batawi was involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, and there was no trial. Ayman Barakat, al-Batawi’s lawyer, said that he was informed of the decision to release his client on Monday night.


Supply Ministry Begins Implementing New Bread Subsidy System

The Egyptian Supply Ministry announced [Ar] on Tuesday that it had started implementing a new system to subsidize bread that is intended to curb corruption. The Supply Ministry’s spokesperson Mamdouh Ramadan said that the price per loaf will remain at 5 piasters (0.05 EGP) and bakeries would buy flour at the market price from flour mills, and then receive compensation from the government after making the bread. The system is designed to address a prevalent problem with the previous system, in which some bakers would buy large amounts of subsidized flour and resell it on the black market for a profit. Ramadan noted that the cost of producing a loaf of bread is 14.4 piasters, almost three times as much as the price for citizens, and said that the government will subsidize the difference to keep costs low. He also added that the new system will make wheat and flour more widely available, while ensuring higher quality bread.


Cartoon of the Day: Patience

Paintings: “Patience”
Speech bubble: “Please, go ahead”
Briefcase: “Administrative Official”
Doaa el-Adl
Al-Masry Al-Youm – 07/31/2017


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