Media Council defends Makram after summoned by state attorney
CAIRO – 7 July 2018: Attorney General Nabil Sadiq summoned Saturday Makram Mohammed Ahmed, head of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR), to investigate imposing a media gag on reports related to the 57375 Children Cancer Hospital.
The Attorney General’s office asserted that SCMR has no jurisdiction to implement such media gag on the hospital that has been under investigation since last month as the government received complaints about the hospital’s spending.
For its part, the SCMR issued a statement to respond to the summoning of its head; it manifested that Makram’s decision to ban media reporting over the 57357 Hospital “lies under the privileges stipulated to him by law no. 92/2016.”
Moreover, the statement noted that Makram is ready to be questioned before the State Security Prosecution at anytime.
SCMR is an independent entity located in Cairo and in charge of regulating audio, visual, digital and print media publications, according to the second article of 92/2016 Law.
The statement stressed the full independence of the Media Council and that it rejects all interferences.
“The Media Council aims to guarantee freedom of expression and media within the framework of free competition,” the statement added.
“The publication-ban decision by Makram relied on the ongoing investigations run by the fact-checking committee that had been formed upon an order by the Minister of Social Solidarity,” the statement read.
The statement noted that Makram’s decision neither tended to overpass a judicial power nor interfering into its affairs, adding, “The committee investigated the 57357 Hospital case is and administrative committee, not a judicial one.”
The Media Council stressed the “no-publishing decision” did not overlap with the Attorney-General’s authority as the “prosecutor solely enjoys the right to issue a ban of publication.”