Al-Watan newspaper’s special edition, printed on the newspaper’s anniversary, was confiscated on Monday after print for using the front-page headline “7 entities more powerful than Al-Sisi”.
The paper included a 15-page special file covering the landscape of seven entities in Egypt which they claim are more powerful than President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. The entities include: corruption, businessmen, secret businesses, social media platforms, the Interior Ministry, media, and people of influence.
Each topic was tackled by a set of interviews and opinion articles. An opinion article by a member of the editorial board, Alaa Al-Ghetrify, published in the file was also removed. The file however, tackled many other issues, and had interviews with a number of officials such as director of the Accountability State Authority, Hisham Geneina.
“This country is not heading anywhere good, and today is very strong proof that we are still on 24 January 2011. Simply, shred, ban and oppress,” Al-Ghetrify said on his Facebook account.
The confiscation follows a string of acts by Egyptian authorities towards journalists in Egypt and against press freedom. At least 44 reporters were arrested in 2014, but are not necessarily currently detained, according to the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).
On 21 April, five journalists from the privately owned daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm were referred to investigations over their special file on alleged police violations.
Yousry El-Badry, one of the five journalists, previously told Daily News Egypt: “We did not get into any kind of personal disputes. As a daily paper, it’s our role to keep up with the current events. We have seen the frequent complaints from the police abuse recently, especially the official complaints filed by the National Council for Human Rights on the worsening status of political detainees inside Abu Za’abal prison. This urged us to write the file. It’s an emergency alarm for a public outrage against police violations.”
Additional reporting by Islam Salah