Egypt parliament to sue journalist Ibrahim Eissa over 'insults'

Egypt parliament to sue journalist Ibrahim Eissa over 'insults'
An Egyptian journalist is about to face legal action from the country's parliament after he wrote a critical article on the lower house.
2 min read
01 March, 2017
Ibrahim Eissa is a long-standing critic of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi [AFP]

Egyptian lawmakers have approved a proposal for parliament to lodge a complaint against leading journalist Ibrahim Eissa with the prosecutor-general.

The unprecedented action follows MP Mostafa Bakri's accusation that Eissa, a critic of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, was now directing insults at parliament, a body largely viewed as a function of the regime.

"Eissa wrote an article which aimed to tarnish the image of parliament, MPs, and speaker Ali Abdelaal himself," said Bakri.

Speaker Abdelaal backed Bakri's statement, saying that while he "respect[s] press freedoms", he would be referring "all the insults in Eissa's article in al-Maqal newspaper... in a complaint to the prosecutor-general for investigation".

He added that Eissa's "insults" were a "crime and represent a deviation from press freedoms".

Abdelaal, however, dismissed a seperate request asking parliament to file a complaint against Ahmed el-Sayed el-Naggar, chairman of the state-owned al-Ahram Press Organisation.

The latest move against Ibrahim Eissa follows the cancellation of his eponymous television show in January. Eissa requested the show, which broadcast on al-Qahera Wel Nas, be pulled from production after "pressures" caused by the show's popularity forced him to lighten his workload.

It is widely speculated, however, that the cancellation was related to Eissa's long-standing opposition to Egypt's president.

In February, he was one of the first media figures to lash out at Sisi, claiming that he presided over a "theocracy" that is no different to the Islamist-led government that the president - then defence minister - overthrew in 2013.