Egypt blocks financial newspaper as media crackdown widens

Egypt blocks financial newspaper as media crackdown widens
Egypt tightens its grip on privately-owned media outlets as it continues its drive against dissent in the name of suppressing 'fake news' and the promotion of 'terror' in the press.
2 min read
29 May, 2017
Egypt followed its Gulf allies last week in blocking several popular media outlets [AFP]

Egypt has blocked access to the website of one of its most popular financial newspapers amid a widening media blackout that began last week, the newspaper's owner said on Sunday.

The censoring of el-Borsa, a paper that usually caters to the pro-state business community, suggests that the government is using the current drive to counter "terrorism" in the media to tighten its grip on privately owned media.

"El-Borsa and Daily News Egypt newspapers express their strong condemnation for the ongoing government campaign to restrict them," Business News, the parent company of both outlets, said.

Business News said the was unexpected, despite the company having had its assets frozen in December for alleged links to the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement.

"We point out that all information on our company, its shareholders, financial statements and contracts are available to all relevant government entities," the media firm said in a statement.

On Monday, social media users reported that access to Mada Masr had been restored.

It is yet to be confirmed whether the bars on the other websites have remained.

Egypt began its recent media crackdown on Wednesday after its Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates blocked several media outlets.

Websites now blocked in Egypt include Mada Masr, al-Jazeera and Huffington Post Arabic.

The media blackout also comes amid Egypt's three-month state of emergency delcared last month after more than 45 people were killed in two suicide bombings at Coptic churches.

In announcing the heightened security state, the country's authoritarian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned the country's press to take care in what it was publishing.