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Egypt news company fined for broadcasting protest

Egypt news company fined for broadcasting protest

An Egyptian journalist said Sunday he's a victim of a government crackdown on media after his news agency was fined 150,000 Egyptian pounds ($27,000) for operating unlicensed broadcast equipment.
Judge Sherif Kamal upheld a complaint by the government against Nader Gohar, head of the Cairo News Company. The complaint came shortly after CNC broadcast footage from Al-Jazeera English in April showing anti-government protesters tearing down a huge portrait of President Hosni Mubarak.
Authorities in Egypt are very sensitive about negative portrayals of the president.
"We're the largest company in our field," said Gohar. "When they hit on us, the others will behave."
Journalists have long complained of harassment by Egyptian security, particularly in recent weeks as they have been prevented from covering a series of disasters.
CNC provides filming equipment and personnel to news agencies in Egypt then transmits their footage.
In September, a Cairo appeals court upheld a guilty verdict against a newspaper editor who wrote stories questioning the Egyptian president's health and sentenced him to two months imprisonment.
The London-based human rights group Amnesty International had denounced that trial, calling it part of a "pattern" by Egyptian authorities of bringing criminal charges against journalists to "chill" media freedom.
"I see this as stupidity," said Gohar about the crackdown on journalists in Egypt. "The more freedom they give us, the better the government will look. Now the government's image is very bad."
Gohar said he's lost 70 per cent of his business because of limitations placed on his work by the government after the complaint was filed.


Updated : 2021-04-12 12:41 GMT+08:00