Egypt’s government press center said on Tuesday that it will suspend cooperation with the British Broadcast Center (BBC) over a recent report on the country’s human right records that Egyptian officials say contained “lies and allegations,” state news agency MENA reported.
The decision by the authority’s head Hussein Zein includes suspending all cooperation, including protocols and agreements, with the BBC until further notice, .
The decision comes a few days after the BBC published a documentary and a report on enforced disappearances and torture carried out by security forces since President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi came to power in 2014.
The National Media Authority also called for Egyptian officials and prominent individuals to boycott BBC.
The report came weeks before Sisi is to stand for re-election virtually unopposed after opponents halted their campaigns and a top challenger was jailed.
The BBC report stirred controversy after a young woman it described as having been disappeared by security forces was interviewed on Monday on a nightly talk show and denied the claim.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: “We are aware of the reports about this BBC story on Egyptian TV and of the comments of the head of the State Information Service. We stand by the integrity of our reporting teams.”
After the woman’s talk show appearance, Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS), which runs its foreign press center, called on “all Egyptian officials and sectors of the Egyptian elite wishing to do so, to boycott conducting media interviews and meetings with BBC correspondents and editors until the BBC issues a formal apology.”
SIS also asked that the BBC publish a statement it had prepared “refuting the professional errors and violations as well as the allegations on the situation in Egypt.”
Rights groups say there is a growing crackdown against political opponents ahead of the election, while Egypt has banned scores of local news websites since May.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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