BBC to discuss Egypt's complaint over 'false documentary'


Thu, 01 Mar 2018 - 11:57 GMT

FILE PHOTO: A BBC sign is displayed outside Broadcasting House in London, Britain July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

FILE PHOTO: A BBC sign is displayed outside Broadcasting House in London, Britain July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

CAIRO – 1 March 2018: The BBC will discuss its documentary on alleged enforced disappearance cases in Egypt with the local authorities, according to a Wednesday report by BBC Arabic.

BBC Arabic says "we will discuss the complaint over the documentary with the Egyptian authorities in the coming days." - Scree shot from BBC Arabic website

While the main BBC website has not run a story about Egypt since the controversial documentary Feb. 24, Reuters quoted a spokesperson for the BBC on Wednesday as saying “we are aware of the reports about this BBC story on Egyptian TV and of the comments of the head of the State Information Service. We stand by the integrity of our reporting teams.”

Screen shot from Reuters

The BBC's Orla Guerin alleged in the documentary that security forces are involved in a woman’s enforced disappearance; however, the woman, Zubeida Ibrahim, later denied the claims on Egyptian TV. Her appearance was not reported by the BBC either.

On Monday, head of the State Information Service Diyaa Rashwan told ON E's channel "Kul Yoam" show that he had spoken with Guerin for 35 minutes about her report following four years of being based in Cairo.

Egypt’s Attorney General Nabil Sadeq ordered the head of prosecutors to take all legal and penal actions against media outlets and websites that deliberately publish false news about Egypt, according to a Wednesday statement.

Sadeq further asked all authorities responsible for regulating media and social media in the country “to notify the Public Prosecution about any violation of the media and publishing ethics,” in accordance with their professional commitment and national role.

In response, the Egyptian State Information Service (SIS) released a statement on Tuesday calling on Egyptian officials and intellectual sectors to boycott BBC until it issues an official apology for publishing an inaccurate report on forced disappearances in Egypt.

The SIS Chairperson Diaa Rashwan demanded that people refrain from giving statements to the BBC; however, he assured that the boycott will not breach the British network’s media and legal rights to operate in Egypt, like any other foreign media outlet.

On Tuesday, Head of the National Media Authority Hussein Zein ordered the suspension of cooperation with the BBC until further notice.

At the same time, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry refuted on Tuesday the false allegations made about Egypt by the British channel BBC, stressing that journalism in Egypt is free.

In his speech before the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, Shoukry confirmed that Egypt hosts many foreign media networks, expressing his regret for the unprofessional media networks that depend on spreading fake information to achieve certain political interests.



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