Egyptian journalist jailed for publishing ‘false news’

Published May 20th, 2015 - 06:12 GMT

A Cairo court ordered on Tuesday the release of an editor-in-chief on 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($1311) of bail pending investigations, a day after his arrest for "publishing false news".

Chief editor of al-Bayan newspaper Ibrahim Aref was transferred to Dokki police station in Giza to be discharged.

The arrest warrant was issued on Monday against Aref for "publishing false news which would disturb public security, spread terror among citizens and harm the public interest".

Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat said in a statement published by his office that al-Bayan newspaper published on Monday a "false" news story on its website saying that six prosecutors were assassinated on the Cairo-Suez Road.

Monday's decision was criticised by Egypt's press syndicate, saying that it violates two articles of the law organising journalism. It also noted that Egypt's laws ban preventive detention in cases related to publishing.

The Egyptian constitution guarantees freedom of the press. It states in Article 71 that no freedom-restricting penalty may be imposed for "crimes of publishing." However, it does leave it up to the law to decide on the penalty undertaken for incitement and discrimination.

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