David Frum

08.16.12

New Egypt, The Same as Old Egypt

Sky News provides a snapshot of the state of press freedom in post-Mubarak Egypt. It seems that there is little difference between the repressive tactics of the new regime compared to the old one:

Tawfiq Okasha, the host of a talk show on a privately owned TV station, is to face a charge of "incitement to murder" over his vocal opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood leader.

The editor-in-chief of the Al Dustour newspaper, Islam Afifi, will also face trial for "publishing false information" which was considered insulting to the President.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been accused by Egypt’s Journalists’ Syndicate of using the same repressive tactics as Hosni Mubarak’s regime to stifle the media and silence dissent.

The arrests follow several attacks on high profile journalists who are known to be critical of the Islamist movement.

Khaled Salah, editor of the privately owned Youm7 newspaper, became the latest victim when he was attacked by a mob last week as he tried to enter his office in Cairo.

Sky News points out one way the Muslim Brotherhood ensured it would have the ability to repress the media:

The Muslim Brotherhood has taken just a handful of positions in the new cabinet, but among them is the post of Information minister, giving President Morsi’s party broad powers to control the media.