Wednesday,14 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1384, (8 - 14 March 2018)
Wednesday,14 November, 2018
Issue 1384, (8 - 14 March 2018)

Ahram Weekly

TV anchor released on bail

Presenter Khairy Ramadan was released pending investigation on charges of defaming the police, reports Ahmed Morsy

 

A North Cairo court released Egyptian state TV presenter Khairy on Monday on LE10,000 bail pending investigation into charges of slandering the police.

A day earlier the prosecutor-general’s office had ordered Ramadan’s detention for four days after he was accused of insulting the police during the 18 February episode of his show Masr Al-Naharda (Egypt Today). Prosecutors can still appeal against the release ruling.

The investigation was opened after the Interior Ministry filed a complaint against Ramadan. He was summoned for interrogation by the Central Cairo prosecution on 3 March.

On 18 February Ramadan, known for his pro-government views, was celebrating the launch of his new TV Show “Egypt Today” and narrated the story of a colonel’s wife who sent him a message complaining about her husband’s low salary. Her message to him was that “I’m the wife of a police officer and my life is being ruined.”

The problem, said Ramadan, is one all police officers struggle with, which is why he decided to invite the woman to meet with him. The wife then told Ramadan about hardships faced by her household because of her husband’s low salary.

“Although she took a lot of time to start talking, she eventually told me she had had to move her two children from a private school to a public one because they could not afford the expenses,” he said.

 Ramadan’s detention drew criticism.

“He made a mistake and he apologised. His apology was sufficient,” Makram Mohamed Ahmed, head of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, said during a phone interview on Hona Al-Asema (Here’s the Capital). He added that Ramadan’s detention sent a message to media practitioners that thinking outside of the box could lead to prosecution.

Head of the Press Syndicate Abdel-Mohsen Salama described Ramadan’s detention as “shocking and bewildering”.

“Ramadan didn’t mean to defame the police and didn’t commit any crime that could justify the detention of a high-profile media personality doing his job on Egypt’s official state television channel,” Salama told a daily talk show.

“With all my respect to the Egyptian judiciary and prosecution, I’m shocked at these decisions. There are many legal options we can take to appeal the decision. Ramadan’s intentions were good and all of us are defending our country.” 

Earlier, Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek demanded his staff monitor news reports about Egypt, urging prosecutors to open cases against journalists deemed to be disseminating fake news. He said “forces of evil” had attempted to “undermine the security and safety of the nation through the broadcast and publication of lies and false news”.

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