Thursday, July 5, 2018

The 57357 Hospital Controversy’s latest update : A Media gag order “Updated”

Updated on Saturday 7 July 2018

Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek issued a an order to summon the head of the Supreme Council For Media Regulations “SCM” Makram Mohamed Ahmed to High State security prosecution over the media gag order he issued on Wednesday related to ongoing investigations into the 57357 Children Cancer hospital’s corruption charges.
In his statement, Sadek slammed the SCM and its veteran Pro-regime journalist Ahmed accusing him of imposing on the jurisdiction of the judicial and executive authority “media gag order”into the matter. Sadek who has issued too many media gag orders in the past also called media to ignore the SCM’s gag order.
Sadek also imposed a media gag on the investigation with SCM head Makram Mohamed Ahmed in one of biggest ironies recently !!
He issued a media gag on an investigation into a media gag order !!
This is the first time state institutions’ clash on something like that.
On Wednesday, the “SCM” issued a media gag order against all what is published or broadcasted about the 57357 Children Cancer Hospital and its current controversy saga about the public donations that ended at wrong pockets till the end of the current investigations into its matters.
The state-of-art biggest children cancer hospital in Egypt is facing accusations of corruption and embezzlement of donations.
Al-Masry Al-Youm “AMAY” Daily published in June a series of investigative op-eds or reports to be accurate by famous screenplay writer Wahid Hamed about the hospital and its general manager Dr.Sherif Abou El-Naga questioning the way he runs the medical facility. (1,2,3,4,5) {They were pulled from the official website of AMAY but they exist online}.

57357 Children Cancer hospital's building  n Cairo
57357 Children Cancer hospital's building  n Cairo

Basically, Hamed accuses Abou El-Naga and his family of monopolizing the board of directors and of having high salaries when the hospital depends only on donations.
As the accusations began to increase, many people began to fear that their donations did not help in curing sick children for free but rather in the pockets of famous doctors.

In late June, Egyptian Social Solidarity ministry which monitors NGOs and charity hospitals announced that it formed a committee to investigate those accusations.
The committee is made up of judges and auditors.

The hospital and its general manager deny that accusations accusing Hamed of being part of a systematic campaign against them. They say the campaign actually started at Veto before moving to more popular and readable AMAY.
Wahid Hamed and Veto are not the first one to raise questions about the NGO hospital that has got the biggest ad campaigns I believe among the NGOs. “Tarek Nour communications, its advertising agency says that it is doing it for free”

At less known website, Dousky Ahmed also published a similar investigative reported in June 2017.

Many people are stunned that the SCM would issue a media gag order like that when it is actually one of Prosecutor General’s power in Egypt.
Well, it is also one of the SCM’s powers according to article No.26 of its law issued in 2017.
The article says that without compromising the power of the general prosecution, the council has the right to act on its own in banning any material whether published or broadcasted whether definitely or indefinitely if it receives a complaint or it finds a violation to journalistic and media standards.
The SCM had said in its statement about the decision that it took because “ It is keen to let that noble internationally recognized medical establishment to continue its work” regardless of the accusations while waiting from the judicial committee’s final say.
This has been the first time the SCM uses that power to issue a media gag order in a public opinion issue like that.
Yet, it is not the first time it uses its power to stop or pull certain material from a broadcast.
It has been active since it came to life in 2017 in banning improper ads and TV programs.

Following the order of Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek’s on Thursday , the SCM issued a statement defending itself reminding him that it acted upon its own law as mentioned above and that it had used that granted power before as also mentioned above. It seems that we got a legal and constitutional legal clash after all.

I do not think that this media gag order will actually help that hospital and its public image in the Egyptian society.
On social media, people believe that there is something rotten there and that gag order was taken in order not to expose it.
According to what I have seen on the social media especially on Facebook, people are mistrusting the hospital.
The order comes after the announcement that the hospital GM Dr. Sherif Abou El-Naga has hired controversial attorney Mortada Mansour to defend him as well the hospital.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but unfortunately, the hospital will lose more donations and donors because of that controversy and how its administration dealt with it.


  1. Corruption in Egypt?? NOOOO!

  2. The country must support such projects which help people in need as this hospital was one of the biggest achievements that bring us as a nation a huge pride


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