Saturday, October 8, 2011

The media censorship ghost is back again

Last Wednesday 4 famous Egyptian columnists left their columns blank in Tahrir Daily Newspaper objecting the return of press censorship once again. In less than a month three newspapers were censored because of the articles related to the intelligence and the army. Sawt Al Oma and Rosa Al Youssef spoke about the intelligence while Al Fajr Newspaper published big headlines criticizing SCAF in the frontline but the inside the topics were Pro-SCAF actually” .
Columnists Belal Fadl , Omar Taher , Tarek Al Shanawy and Naglaa Badir left their daily columns blank on last Wednesday in Tahrir Newspaper. Three of them wrote the following online :
I refrain from writing today because I protest the ban , confiscation and the return of military censorship on press
While Omar Taher only posted a picture for late General Abdel Monam Riyad with the words “We object” in reference to the statue of martyr Abdel Monam Riyad at Tahrir square. The late general was a bright example when it comes to military career and patriotism.
It is not the first time though because columnist Wael Abdel Fatah also left his column on Septmber 30th blank objecting the return of military censorship.
Here is a scan for the empty columns on last Wednesday.
SCAN of empty columns last wednesday
Belal Fadl commented on this saying that authorities should understand that the freedom of expression’s mistakes are not corrected more mistakes but rather more freedom and that
It is a strong message hopefully it will be understood as it was received despite the latest orders sent the newspapers and TV channels. 
After the Al Jazeera Mubshar Misr jazz , we find that ONTV , Tahrir News , Dream TV are now being stalked by the law and violations of the terms of their licenses. Dream TV and ONTV channels did not sign on presenting political shows according to their official contracts from the days of Mubarak while Tahrir Channel is working outside the media city as well it uses some sort device it should get a permission to use it.
By the way Nas Salafist Religious Channel also received a warning from GAFI concerning criticism to SCAF.
The morale and public relations department has issued its orders that it is not allowed even to mention the news of SCAF and its members without a permission from the military intelligence  !! It is no longer the morale department.
The censorship is not in the newspapers only about SCAF’s criticism or army or intelligence issues but this year all the special reports about the October 6th 1973 war must be approved according to many journalists who were shocked to find their interviews with their 1973 war veterans were not accepted because the Morale department has another list of 1973 veterans we should follow !!
Of course this shows how the SCAF thinks in an old 1960s military way without releasing the change in time and in media itself. The Young Egyptian activists and historians did not wait for the military intelligence or the morale department’s list to search for the truth and went to the veterans and published this info online.
I am not worried though because 1960s mindset was conquered during the January revolution , we will not return back because bunch of hypocrites trying to preserve their places using all the techniques in the book to kiss the military boots of old military men who still think with the 1960s mindset that refuses criticism and thinks it is a sign of disloyalty and betrayal to the nation. Time is changing and insh Allah we are not going back.
I agree that Freedom of expression is a responsibility but we are adults and yes we can learn from other countries’ experiences when it comes to laws and legalization that put preserve the rights of the society and the individual when it comes to the freedom of expression.

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