Chief editor, reporter of independent newspaper released on bail

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Editor-In-Chief of privately owned newspaper ‘Al-Masry Al-Youm’, Ali Al-Sayed, and reporter Ahmed Youssef were both released on a LE2,000 bail early on Thursday by State Security Prosecution.

The media men had faced 14 hours of interrogation because of accusations made by the Ministry of Interior of “unsettling national peace, spreading false information, stealing interrogation records, and publishing news about a case still under investigation by the judiciary” pertaining to investigative records into alleged fraud in the 2012 presidential elections.

The prosecutor general had issued a publishing ban on the case following Al-Masry Al-Youm’s declaration that it has the records, and the newspaper said in a report that it would honour the ban and not publish the story.

However, the Ministry of Interior filed a complaint against Al-Sayed and Youssef, accusing Al-Masry Al-Youm of stealing records of the investigation.

Following his release, Al-Sayed criticised the Ministry of Interior, saying, “It is trying to silence voices and close down newspapers.”

The chief editor added that this is “a dangerous step towards restricting freedom of expression, and threatens the return to oppressive practices, against which Egyptians revolted in previous eras.”

“The Interior Ministry intervened in an issue that does not fall under its jurisdiction,” according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

On 1 October, Al-Masry Al-Youm was also prevented from distributing a print issue of their evening paper by the government as it contained an interview with an intelligence agent that was deemed sensitive to national security.