Editor of Egyptian daily released after Morsi issues ban on jailing journalists until verdicts given by courts
Johannesburg, Aug 25 (ANI): An editor of an Egyptian daily was released from jail just hours after the country's Islamist president, President Mohamed Morsi issued a law that bans the imprisonment of journalists accused of media-related offenses, until the courts announce the verdicts of the cases.
Islam Afifi, who is the editor-in-chief of the El-Dustour newspaper owned by the leader of the opposition Wafd Party, had been charged with slandering the president and harming public interest with inflammatory articles.
According to News24, the case against Afifi had sparked fury among journalists and intellectuals, who viewed the lawsuit as an attack on free speech, similar to the types of 'legal maneuvering' used by the former regime of authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak, to silence his opponents.
The decree affecting those awaiting trial for offences such as libel, defamation and slander is the first law Morsi has issued since assuming legislative powers earlier this month in the absence of a parliament, and following a decision to retire a cadre of generals with whom he had shared powers, the report said.
Since Morsi took office, El-Dustour has regularly published articles warning of alleged Brotherhood plots and conspiracies to turn Egypt into a fundamentalist Islamic state, it added.
Afifi still faces trial in September. (ANI)