To Censor Article, Egypt Seizes Every Newspaper

Interview with former spy was apparently too dicey
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2014 3:49 PM CDT
To Censor Article, Egypt Seizes Every Newspaper
An Egyptian man reads a local newspaper in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Egypt swears that censorship is a thing of the past, but the government showed this week that it can still practice an old-school version when it wants. Authorities seized every copy of the newspaper Al Masry Al Youm, apparently because they felt an interview with a former spy revealed too much, reports the New York Times. Among other things, the former agent said that Egypt routinely returned captured Israeli spies to Israel as part of prisoner exchanges, a revelation that might make Egypt seem too soft, the Times speculates.

The move comes soon after President Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi insisted in a US television interview that when it comes to freedom of the press, "there is no limitation and this is final." The Arab Network for Human Rights Information condemned the seizure of the newspapers as blatant censorship, reports Daily News Egypt. Eventually, officials allowed the newspaper to hit the streets, but only after the offending interview was replaced by one with an Egyptian environmental official. (More Egypt stories.)

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