New Egyptian law establishes media regulator picked by president

December 26, 2016 22:03

CAIRO - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will pick a regulator and members of a new media council under a law passed on Monday, giving the body the power to fine or suspend publications and broadcasters and give or revoke licenses for foreign media.

The law, approved by parliament and signed into law by Sisi, creates the so-called Supreme Council for the Press and Media whose chairman will be picked by Sisi and whose remaining members will be appointed by him based on nominations from various bodies including the judiciary and parliament.

Human rights organizations and the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists have repeatedly criticized media freedoms in Egypt, which jailed the second most journalists of any country in the world in 2015, according to the CPJ.

The new council is tasked with suing media organizations that violate its regulations, creating a list of penalties, fining media organizations that break license terms, and can revoke or suspend the right to publish or broadcast.

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