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Egypt to Try Anti-Morsi Talk Host in September

Thursday, 16 Aug 2012 02:59 PM


CAIRO — Egyptian talk show host Tawfiq Okasha will face trial on September 1 on charges of calling for the murder of President Mohammed Morsi, the official MENA news agency reported on Thursday.

The editor of the small independent newspaper Al-Dustour, Islam Afifi, will also face trial on August 23 on charges of spreading false news and inciting disorder.

Tawfiq Okasha, who owns Al-Faraeen channel that airs his stridently anti-Morsi show, has been banned along with Afifi from leaving the country and authorities stopped his channel from broadcasting for a month.

The United States said it was "very concerned" about freedom of the press in Egypt after the move to put the two critics of Morsi on trial.

Freedom of speech was vital to "vibrant, strong democracies" and expected by the Egyptians who took to the streets last year to oust strongman Hosni Mubarak, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

The move to try the two journalists, both ardent opponents of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement, comes as anti-Morsi activists plan a protest campaign against the Islamist president on August 24.

After his inauguration on June 30, Morsi has moved to bolster his power over the influential military and a state media that had been hostile towards his once banned movement.


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