CAIRO - Egypt's president, in his first use of legislative powers he wrested back from the army this month, issued a law on Thursday to bar the detention pending trial of defendants involved in offenses related to the media, an official said.
The announcement by President Mohamed Morsy came hours after a court ordered the detention pending trial of the editor-in-chief of an opposition newspaper on charges of insulting the president.
The decision may go some way to deflecting criticism that the Islamist president, who took office on June 30, has cracked down on media that is opposed to his rule.
"In the first use of legislative power, President Morsy issue a decree with a law not to allow temporary detention in crimes related to the press," presidential spokesman Yasser Ali told Reuters.
On August 12, Morsy dismissed top generals who had led a military council that ruled Egypt after the fall of Hosni Mubarak last year and he also cancelled a decree the army had issued that gave it legislative powers in the absence of parliament.