Editor-in-Chief of the Egyptian daily Nadet Masr Mohammed al-Shabbha said today that the decision to shut down the newspaper was sudden. He denied that the paper or its owners were subjected to political restrictions. Meanwhile, the Elhak Center for Democracy and Human Rights condemned the Chairman of the Board’s decision to shut down the newspaper.
Speaking to Arabstoday, al-Shabbah said the newspaper had to close because of bad management andfinance issues.
He expressed regret for the decision which he said “came at a time when the Egyptian press needs to be freer and more prolific .” He pointed out that Nahdet Masr had been the first independent Egyptian newspaper to deal with the issues and news of the civil society and human rights organisations.
He revealed that the defunct publication “as one of the first newspapers to expose the corruption of the former regime, which played a major role in kindling the fire of the Januray 25 revolution.”
“The newspaper has been neglected in the last few years which led to its decline and the reduction of the number of pages,” al-Shabbah said.
The most serious problem that the establishment is going through at the moment, the editor informed Arabs Today “is the loss of wages for its brilliant journalists and all other employees, now in danger of being dispossessed.”
“Negotiations with owner Emad El Din Adeeb are being held now as the employees are trying to get three years’ worth of unpaid wages in full,” he said, pointing out that there have been promises of the newspaper becoming a website.
Al-Shabba also called on the Supreme Council for Journalism and the Journalists’ Syndicate to “intervene to resolve the crisis,” in order to “stop the liberal newspaper from collapsing as Egypt is going through such a critical time.”