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Egypt Information Minister to Political Parties: No-One Will Be Excluded; Freedoms Guaranteed for All
Egypt Information Minister to Political Parties: No-One Will Be Excluded; Freedoms Guaranteed for All
Egypt’s new Information Minister meets with the heads of the country’s political parties; assures them that State-owned media outlets will not alienate any political players, and that freedom of speech is guaranteed for all.
Sunday, September 9,2012 23:23

Salah Abdel-Maksoud, Egyptian Information Minister, affirmed that state media would not sideline or blacklist anyone, that no censorship would be imposed on Egyptian media, and that there would be no limits, no ceiling, on freedom of the press, subject to compliance with social responsibility requirements.


He stressed that the new phase of constitutional legitimacy and state institutions would not allow media bias in favor of any class, party or denomination.

"Now, we have a president elected by popular will and a government that represents that free will".

In a three-hour long meeting with heads and representatives of 40 Egyptian political parties, the Information Minister pointed that official media is pursuing a new policy as the homeland and the people’s media – not the mouthpiece of a certain regime or a particular party.

He further pointed that this new media policy stems from the concept that "we are all partners in the ownership of the media".

He stressed that calumny, defamation and libel are professionally unacceptable, adding that state media is free of all these.

Assuring that the State applies the law and the Constitution, Abdel-Maksoud affirmed that there were no irregularities in selecting members of the Supreme Council of the Press or the National Council for Human Rights.

"These choices and selections reflect most of the currents and orientations in Egyptian society."

With regard to rumors about banning articles by some authors in Al-Akhbar newspaper, the Minister stressed that stopping these articles was for financial reasons at the press institutions.

"Let's move beyond this stage, and these council-formations will be reviewed, right after the new Constitution is ratified. We should give them the opportunity to do their job. Then, we can evaluate the experience.

"Undoubtedly, the situation in Egypt now has changed a lot from what it was before the January 25 revolution."

Further, Abdel-Maksoud said that the coming stage would see an assessment of each program, denying that any particular program would be stopped or any guest banned.

He pointed that Khaled Ali, former presidential candidate, was not prevented from appearing on television programs. He assured that no representative of any political force – and generally no Egyptian citizen – will be prevented from appearing in any programs.

Regarding the abolition of pre-trial detention in publication cases, the Minister explained that the president's initiative was something that journalists had fought for, for many years, and that the new Constitution will address this issue.

Abdel-Maksoud denied that Ahmed Makki, Minister of Justice, had a special attitude regarding freedom of the press.

"Fines are not enough, by way of deterrent: there is ‘political money’ currently being used in partisan conflicts." 

 

tags: Egypt / Political Parties / Constitution / Egypt / January 25 / Revolution / Egyptians / Journalists / Salah Abdel-Maksoud / Egyptian Information Minister / Egyptian Media / Al-Akhbar / Supreme Council / National Council for Human Rights / Egyptian Society

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