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Rights groups decry Egyptian media crackdown

July 5, 2013

AP News

Pro-Morsi rally.

Pro-Morsi rally.

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities shut down four Islamist TV stations, banned the Muslim Brotherhood’s newspaper and raided the office of Al-Jazeera’s Egypt affiliate in crackdown on media considered sympathetic to ousted President Mohammed Morsi, bringing an outcry Thursday from rights groups.

Rights groups said the moves appeared to be an attempt to intimidate pro-Morsi media and shut off their viewpoints.

Among the shuttered stations was the Misr25 channel, run by the Brotherhood. It went off the air Wednesday night just as it was airing pro-Morsi protesters chanting “Down with military rule” after Egypt’s military chief announced that Morsi had been removed.

The military’s move came after four days of massive anti-Morsi protests demanding the country’s first freely elected president step down.

In a statement, the Brotherhood said the shutdowns were a return to the “repressive” policies of Egypt’s “dark … ages.”

The London-based Amnesty International called the shutdowns a “blow to freedom of expression.”

A security official said the stations were shut down over suspicions of incitement, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press. He did not elaborate.

Notably, no Egyptian stations are currently airing live footage from the main pro-Morsi rally in Cairo, where thousands have been holding a sit-in since Friday. Read the rest of the story at Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Rights Groups Decry Egypt Media Crackdown

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