Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Thu93 2020

Last update18:06 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Archive > Reports
Egypt Strives to Quell Mubarak Rumors
Egypt Strives to Quell Mubarak Rumors
A prosecutor plans to question the editor of a newspaper that raised questions about the health of Egypt’s leader, a judicial official said Tuesday in the latest step by the government to quash rumors that President Hosni Mubarak is ill.
Sunday, September 9,2007 04:12
by MAGGIE MICHAEL AP

A prosecutor plans to question the editor of a newspaper that raised questions about the health of Egypt"s leader, a judicial official said Tuesday in the latest step by the government to quash rumors that President Hosni Mubarak is ill.
Over the past two weeks, several opposition and independent newspapers published stories speculating on the health of the 79-year-old Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for more than a quarter century.

One paper, the independent Al Dustour, carried front-page stories for several days, including one that contended the leader sometimes lapses into comas. The government accused Al Dustour"s editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Essa, of spreading rumors that could damage the nation.

A judicial official said Essa would be questioned by a state security prosecutor Wednesday about allegations he spread false rumors "causing a public disturbance and harming Egypt"s economy." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

Mubarak is known to have knee, ear and back problems, but he has seemed generally healthy in recent appearances, including separate meetings Tuesday in Alexandria with Jordan"s King Abdullah II, Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D"Alema and former British leader Tony Blair.

Mubarak has no designated successor, but his son Gamal"s swift rise through the ruling party has fed speculation that the way is being paved for a hereditary succession, something that worries many Egyptians.

A concerted campaign in Egypt"s state media in recent days has sought to counter the media speculation about the president.

On Sunday, first lady Suzanne Mubarak said in a rare television appearance that her husband is healthy, adding that she felt journalists who published the reports contending he was ailing deserved to be punished.

"The president"s health is excellent, and his activities are continuing and are not on hold," Suzanne Mubarak told the satellite channel Al-Arabiya. "Frankly, I feel sad as a citizen, not as a president"s wife. There must be punishment either for a journalist, a televised program or a newspaper that publishes the rumors."

Her appearance came two days after Mubarak, in an interview published in the pro-government Al-Ahram newspaper, accused "illegitimate movements" of being behind the rumors — a reference to Egypt"s most powerful opposition group, the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mahdi Akef denied the allegation.

On Monday, the government-controlled Press Supreme Council, which issues licenses to newspapers, said it had formed two commissions of media experts and legal consultants to evaluate press coverage of Mubarak"s health and decide what legal measures should be taken.

That announcement, along with Mubarak"s comments and the accusations against Essa, raised worries that the government might move to curtail the press, which has enjoyed more freedom in recent years.

Essa said Tuesday that he feared he would be thrown in jail and his newspaper shut down. The government closed Al Dustour for seven years, beginning in the late 1990s, after it published a statement by an Islamic group that threatened Coptic Christian businessmen in Egypt.

"When a political regime reaches its end, it turns into a monster," Essa told The Associated Press.


Posted in Reports , Human Rights  
Print
Related Articles
Egyptian journalist probed over Mubarak health rumours - Feature
Egyptian Journalist Questioned by State Security Over Mubarak Health Reports
CBS interpreter murder brings toll of journalists and media workers killed since start of war to 200
TV journalist assaulted by plain-clothes police, human rights lawyer prevented from flying to London
Ban Ki-moon asked to intercede on behalf of two journalists under sentence of death
A journalist arrested and sent to Evin prison, another gets three-year sentence
Egypt: Intimidation and assault on journalists and peaceful demonstrators must stop
Two journalists being held for publishing internal security memo on terrorist threat