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[Published: Monday August 20 2012]

 Egypt's Mursi accused of media crackdown

Cairo, 20 Aug – (ANA) - A media crackdown in the first month of Mohamed Mursi's rule has raised fears Egypt's Islamist president is moving to stifle criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood. Formal accusations by state prosecutors have been filed against two journalists, while an issue of the newspaper al-Dostour was confiscated by the state's censorship unit - disappointing those who believed last year's overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak would lead to greater media freedom. Mursi, who resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood when he was elected in June, saying he wanted to represent all Egyptians, has also named Salah Abdel Maqsood, a former colleague from the Islamist group, as information minister. "The Brotherhood's recent actions against the media are harsh and unacceptable and tell us that we are going backwards and that things are managed the same way they were during Mubarak's time," rights activist Gamal Eid told Reuters. The crackdown on media is also worrying the United States, which for years has secured the loyalty of one of the Arab world's most influential states with substantial financial aid, now running at about $1.55 billion a year. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Thursday that Washington was "concerned by reports that the Egyptian government is moving to restrict media freedom and criticism in Egypt." The Brotherhood has repeatedly denied any intention to censor opinion, saying it wants only to stop media reports which might incite violence or unrest, or which personally insult the president. (ANA)

FA/ANA/20 August 2012---------


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