A state TV anchor, Azza Al-Henawy, was suspended Sunday and referred to investigations after criticising the official response to the flood crisis in Alexandria.
This is the third time she gets suspended from presenting on TV. She was suspended for one year in 2013, during Mohamed Morsi’s rule, after criticising then-information minister for sexually harassing a reporter. Much earlier, she was suspended during Hosni Mubarak’s rule for one year and eight months, also for criticisms against the government at that time.
Al-Henawy works for Al-Qahera channel, formerly known as Channel 3, dedicated the last four minutes of her show to review the official response to the floods which took over Alexandria, as well as other cities, since the beginning of November.
Essam Al-Amir, head of the Egyptian Union for Radio and Television (ERTU), reportedly said: “The anchor deviated from the script and expressed her own views in a news programme, which is considered bias.”
A hash-tag is trending in Egypt on Twitter expressing solidarity with Al-Henawy and denouncing curbs on press freedom in Egypt.
During her show, she directed a message to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi: “As long as there is no accountability mechanism for all officials in the country, including you, all your promises will go in vain.”
“You managed to solve a huge electricity crisis in no time, unlike many countries, we also call for resolving the corruption crisis in Egypt and a new law that ensures accountability for all officials, starting with you,” she added in her message to Al-Sisi.
Commenting on the latest flood crisis in Egypt, she said: “Stranded citizens are sleeping in convention centres and given little stipends, only because they are Egyptians.”
Hundreds of journalists were subject to bans or arrests in the wake of the 30-June uprising, while 12 are still in detention.
Also on Monday, prominent journalist and human rights activist Hossam Bahgat was detained by military prosecution after being questioned by military intelligence on Sunday.
Moreover, in December 2014, radio anchor Aida Seoudy was temporarily suspended after criticising the dismissal of charges against Mubarak during her show.