Salah Abdel Maqsood, the Minister of Information, applauded President Mohamed Morsi’s decision to withdraw complaints filed against journalists.
Presidential spokesperson Ehab Fahmy announced on Wednesday evening that President Mohamed Morsi’s legal affairs team will withdraw all complaints filed against journalists.
Abdel Maqsood referred to the matter on the sidelines of the National Science Day Celebration which Morsi attended. The Minister stated that the president never personally filed any complaints against journalists, adding that he was very open-minded in dealing with abuses he was subjected to.
When the matter was presented to him on Wednesday, Abdel Maqsood said the president was quick to stall the complaints filed by the legal affairs team against journalists. He stated that the legal affairs team filed the complaints to preserve the presidency’s status which represents the status of all Egyptians.
Abdel Maqsood called on different media outlets to “upgrade their speech” and cooperate to protect the nation’s best interests and its stability. “The political crisis Egypt is currently going through is in truth a media crisis,” the Minister of Information said. “Several media outlets do not aspire to narrow the gap between different points of view. They only care about driving a wedge between different political movements.”
“Stability in Egypt would only reign when media outlets start acting rationally and credibly,” Abdel Maqsood said.
He stated that Morsi has always sided with freedom of expression. Abdel Maqsood recalled the time when Morsi was “leader of the opposition bloc in the Peoples’ Assembly” before the 25 January revolution, when former President Hosni Mubarak led a campaign against freedom of the press.
Abdel Maqsood stated that the first decision issued by Morsi after taking over the legislative authority was to end preventive detention of journalists.
In an earlier interview, Press Syndicate board member Abeer Saady said that the president’s decision to end preventive detention was not followed by increasing freedom of the press. Saady welcomed Morsi’s latest decision to withdraw complaints, yet she questioned whether it was one that would carry on to the Morsi administration’s future behaviour.