Global round-up: Egypt censors papers for el-Sisi criticism

Three privately-owned newspapers in Egypt have been denied the right to publish because of content critical of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says one of the newspapers, Al Mesryoon, criticised el-Sisi for his excessive focus on the content of religious sermons in the country.

The state-owned Al Ahram printing house on Saturday told Gamal Sultan, editor-in-chief of Al Mesryoon, that it would not print the weekly edition of the newspaper unless two stories about the president were removed,

Another newspaper, Al Sabah, was prevented from going to press over its story criticising the head of the Al Watan political party, Mohamed Badran, for his close relationship with the president.

The censorship comes as the government approved an anti-terrorism law that criminalises basic reporting and defines terrorist crimes in a broad manner that can be used to threaten and imprison critical journalists. According to CPJ research, 22 journalists are currently in jail in Egypt because of their work.

Twitter shuts down accounts with deleted tweets from legislators

Twitter has blocked access to 31 accounts with archived tweets from politicians, diplomats, and embassies from around the world.

The Open State Foundation, the organisation overseeing the twitter accounts, was banned by Twitter, The Guardian reports.

Last Friday, Twitter provided the organisation with a statement, detailing the reasons behind the decision, stating that it was after a “thoughtful internal deliberation and close consideration of a number of factors”.

The statement also touched upon the permanent nature of tweets, and the possible impact of this on users.

Director of Open State Foundation disagreed with the statement. “What elected politicians publicly say is a matter of public record. Even when tweets are deleted, it’s part of parliamentary history. These tweets were once posted and later deleted,” he told The Guardian.

In June, Twitter blocked access to Politwoops, an archiving service that tracks deleted tweets by politicians.

Death threats over Mafia funeral coverage

Coverage of the funeral of Italian crime boss Vittorio Casamonica in Rome has led to two journalists receiving death threats.

Investigative reporter for web newspaper Fanpage Alessio Viscardi was in Terzigno the day following the funeral, and was approached by four people after taking photos of a helicopter used in the elaborate ceremony, The Guardian reports. “They stopped me and threatened me with death,” Viscardi said.

The second incident occurred the next day, in Rome, and involved a team from a public TV station. The three-member team led by journalist Alfonso Iuliano, working for the current affairs show Agorà, were shooting video in the Appio area, where several members of the Casamonica family were living.

The journalists were stopped and attacked by local residents, who threatened them with death if they did not stop filming.

The Hollywood-style funeral took place at San Giovanni Bosco church on August 21, with music from The Godfather played by a band, rose petals scattered via helicopter, and a gilded carriage driven by six horses.

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