The Al Masry Al Youm office
Cairo – Akram Ali
Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm published an official statement on its website to reply to what has been published by the UK's Independent newspaper yesterday, concerning an alleged
publishing ban on an opinion piece in an English version of the Egyptian paper known as the Egypt Independent. In the Egyptian article, the writer stated that "Commander-in-Chief of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, may be subject to imprisonment".
Al-Masry Al-Youm said in its statement “The British Independent has committed a professional failure in its Sunday edition, where it published a ‘different’ report of its Cairo correspondent ‘Alistair (Beachy)’ claiming that Al-Masry Al-Youm stopped the print of more than 20,000 copies of what it calls Egypt Independent, an English language weekly, for publishing a piece for a foreign writer.
The statement added that the correspondent Alistair fabricated false statements, saying that the report was based on an “anonymous source”, without reflecting any scrutiny, besides relating false statements to the paper, aiming to pressure it to publish a piece supposedly rejected for "professional and national reasons".
Al-Masry Al-Youm insisted that it refused to blackmail the Cairo-based British Independent correspondent. It further stressed on the fallacy of the claims stated in the report, as the Egyptian Independent does not issue an English language paper – like the correspondent claimed, but “it issues an annex within the Arabic edition for trial, printed in limited numbers with the copies”.
The statement carried on saying “Al-Masry Al-Youm reveals factual incidents which the British Independent tried to fabricate, to serve the purpose of Western organisations and parties in Egypt, as the piece which the foreign writer attempted to publish in the annex included a clear and explicit incitement to Egyptian army officers to carry out a military coup and take charge, a matter rejected by the paper and the Egyptian people to protect the gains of the revolution, which sacrificed the blood of theit youth for the sake of a modern civil state.”
Al-Masry Al-Youm affirmed its crucial decision of not publishing the article for several reasons “Most importantly is that it belongs to a foreign writer who tries through Western organizations and Independent correspondence in Cairo to blatantly interfere in Egyptian internal affairs," besides seeking, in his article to impose military coups on Egypt, "which speaks for his country’s culture" .
Al-Masry Al-Youm said in defence: “Al-MasryAl-Youm and all free Egyptian papers publish opinion pieces for Egyptian and Arab writers who fiercely attack the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, without any interference from the paper, but at the same time, it refuses to be used by foreign incitement of military coups, whose time has long since gone.”
It called upon the British Independent to remain accurate and to preserve its professionalism, away from diktats and the purposes of western intelligence organisations.