Egyptian newspaper backtracks on deported journalist 'AIDS' claim

Egyptian newspaper backtracks on deported journalist 'AIDS' claim

Egyptian newspaper al-Wafd has made the appalling allegation that talk show host Liliane Daoud was deported for having AIDS – not standing up to Egypt's ultra-authoritarian regime.
2 min read
30 Jun, 2016
Daoud's deportation from Egypt is seen as another example of the government's oppression [Facebook]

An Egyptian newspaper has made outrageous allegations about a critical talk show host who was forcibly deported from the country earlier this week.

Al-Wafd, a daily published by a nationalist party of the same name, claimed on Tuesday that British-Lebanese journalist Liliane Daoud - a critic of the Egyptian government - was deported because she had "contracted AIDS".

The so-called newspaper first published the story - citing unnamed "security sources" - with the headline "Sources: Liliane Daoud has AIDS".

Al-Wafd quickly backtracked and changed the headline to "Sources: Liliane Daoud subjected to medical quarantine".

Editors then changed their minds once again and changed the story to read "Liliane Daoud deported from Egypt by sovereign decree for communication with foreign intelligence services", media consultant Hosam el-Sokkari documented.

The story has since been taken off the internet, however, thanks to Twitter their disgraceful report can still be seen.

"I have documented this to expose a shining example of the filth put out by al-Wafd, whose staff can be considered some of the vilest of God's creations," Sokkari wrote on Facebook.

      Daoud was accused of supporting Sisi's opposition [Getty]

"I am not surprised by this filth, however, I am surprised that one of these low-lives felt that the story was too disgusting and told his colleagues shame on us we can't be this disgusting," he added.

Daoud, a former BBC journalist who hosted a political talk show, was arrested and deported from Egypt late on Monday night.

"[I have] lived and worked in Egypt for five years. My contract with broadcaster ONTV was terminated yesterday, and at 17:45 yesterday evening, eight policemen from the passport control authority arrived at my home," Daoud said in a series of tweets.

"I was then taken from home and taken to the airport against my will," she added.

Daoud has faced a barrage of online criticism from some quarters in Egypt recently, accusing her of having ties to opponents of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Egypt's journalism union in May accused the authorities of declaring war on media freedom.

Earlier this month, the European Union called the indictment of three top journalists' union members "a worrying development".

Human rights activists accuse Sisi of running an ultra-authoritarian regime that has violently suppressed all opposition and employed widespread torture since toppling President Mohammad Morsi in 2013 who was a leading figure in the now banned Muslim Brotherhood movement.