Besieging protesters are angry at perceived bias in Egypt’s media
Demonstrators protesting outside Media Production City in Cairo’s October 6 City have entered their second day, as Egyptian Islamists angry at perceived bias at privately-owned
satellite channels voice their criticism.Security forces have kept up an intensive presence throughout the day, while officials have criticised Islamists for maintaining a “siege” of the media institution.
Protesters have blocked one of the main gates leading into the Media Production City compound, calling for “media cleansing” in Egypt.
Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim visited the site early on Monday morning to inspect security preparations for the day’s civil disobedience.
Television stars and political figures were verbally abused and assaulted on Sunday.
TV anchor Reham El-Sehly was verbally abused by protesters on her way out of the MPC and the window of her car was partially smashed, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.
Hafez Abou Seada, head of the Egyptian Institute for Human Rights, was prevented by protesters from entering the MPC for an interview with TV host Mona El-Shazly.
“The weird thing is that they almost destroyed us. They said this is Abou Seada the human rights guy and tried to drag me out of the car but others told the driver to leave,” Abou Seada said, adding that his car window was smashed.
Egyptian lawyer has meanwhile filed a formal complaint with the attorney general, blaming President Mohammed Morsi and Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim for attacks on journalists outside Media Production City.
The lawyer demanded an “urgent investigation” into clashes.
Political science professor and National Salvation Front (NSF) member Amr Hamzawy has claimed the clashes represent the “collapse of legitimacy suffered by the government, as well as the absence of the rule of law.”
Democratic Front Party members have meanwhile called for a robust defence of freedom in Egypt, as attacks on journalists and media institutions become increasingly commonplace.
Majid Sami Ibrahim, Secretary-general of the party, said: “What is happening is a scandal. They are trying to muzzle the mouths of the media, something that’s faced by total silence from the presidency.”