Phone Call from Sovereign Body

About Blocking & Confiscating Egyptian Newspapers after the Constitution Passed

Introduction
In a conventional scene, some agents of a security body storm a printing press, order the stoppage of machines, request the delivery of all print runs concerning a certain newspaper, and then they leave; but nobody knows how these copies would be handled. Knowingly, the copies of that newspaper will not be available in markets on the following; simply because they had been “confiscated”.
Throughout history, this scene has been taking place over and over again in many countries, and still transpiring in some of them until today. Seeing that this scene is the most common; thus, the term “confiscation” remains the most used when it comes to talking about the regime’s interference in the prevention of a newspaper from being issued or distributed; fearing that some or all of the contents are delivered to readers. Owing to the commonness of this direct form of confiscation and the clarity of the responsible body, it is taken into account in the constitutions and laws’ articles that aim at protect the press freedom. The Egyptian Constitution, in its final version after the amendments that became enforceable in January 2014, is not different from the other modern constitutions in this field, as its Article 71 provides for “It is prohibited to censor, confiscate, suspend or shut down Egyptian newspapers and media outlets in any way.” According to this article, the conventional scene of confiscating newspapers by official bodies in the state and upon a proclaimed or tacit administrative decision becomes a clear and direct violation of the constitution.
Prior to Egyptian revolution of January 25, the process of blocking and banning newspaper did not take this conventional form. Due to the tight integration between the state security bodies and the national newspapers institutions- sole owners for printing houses appropriate for printing newspapers- as well as the distribution companies- which are able to distribute these newspapers across the state- the security forces only in rare cases need direct intervention by their men and a clear decision for confiscating a private or national newspaper in order not to publish some or all of the issue’s contents. It was usual that the security bodies only demand from the institutions in charge of printing not to print or distribute the controversial issue.

In all cases, the response was immediate and without discussion. Moreover, officials of the blocked newspaper then burdened the negotiation with security bodies regarding what could be done to make the issue out again. Usually, the demands were being met and the modifications requested were being made in order to let printing machines work again, and distribute the late issue.

For a short period in the wake of January 25 revolution, the regime and its security bodies lacked this tight integration concerning the printing and distribution of newspapers, although they were all owned by the state, except only ineffective one (Al-Masry Al-Youm Institution has a private printery but does not have a distribution company). This new state was continuing under the rule of sometime president Mohamed Morsi, until he was deposed on the 3rd of July 2013. Though, with the regime arising from July mutual understandings under the interim president Adly Mansour’s rule and in the wake of electing the current president Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, the regime regained the previously-relished integration between its security bodies and the state-owned press institutions; whereas the oral orders, by phone calls, issued by sovereign bodies was reinstated to resume its former role in blocking newspaper. Meanwhile, resorting to direct confiscation has become a rare order according to special circumstances. For examples, some copies of the newspaper already reach the markets before the concerned security bodies alert that there is something they want to prevent its publishing, or that printing the target paper outside the national press institutions (and only this usually on periodicals with low printing costs, which are issued in a limited number of copies).

This tactic places most of incidents of blocking and banning newspapers in Egypt in a gray area legally. Although a security (sovereign) body’s responsibly of ban is known, and most of owners and editors-in-chief of the blocked newspapers should not hesitate to declare the reasons, it is a right of an unknown body according to the rule of law. There is no written warrant or officially oral one. Even though the national institutions renounce responsibility for the ban or confiscation of any newspaper that print its issues there, they do not deny on an express manner their response to the orders given by the unknown sovereign body, either voluntarily or may be normally! On the other hand, it is hard, if not impossible, to determine that unknown sovereign body without the cooperation of national institutions (this cooperation will not transpire). Hence, identifying this body is subject to fabrications and unproven expectations. In fact, the sovereign bodies are not officially existed. Only, there are sovereign ministries, where the president solely appoints their ministers as enshrined in the constitution. Other than that, the sovereign bodies is an unofficial name for a set of security and intelligence bodies that sorted out by those responsible for matters according the various issues among them.
The violation in every case of blocking or prevention remains standing, and in spite of the state and its institutions’ inability to introduce the direct legal liability in most cases as it is the direct violator of the freedom of the press and publication, the state could not renounce its constitutional responsibility for protecting the press freedom and inhibiting any official or non-official body from banning or blocking or others, which are encroachment on the right to freedom of expression through using methods of publicity, including the publication.
There is no way that the state’s executive and judicial authorities, represented by the public prosecutor that is authorized to investigate every violation of laws, deny its inaction concerning complying with the law through investigating the incidents of ban and block, disclosing the bodies involved in that, and penalizing them.
This common pattern of using, by the regime, the power of informal bodies that are provided by the state’s control over the infrastructure of the press publishing, forces us to expand the definition of “newspapers’ confiscation”, and to modify the term itself so as to become more reflective of the Egyptian reality. Ban and block are most common in Egypt, but confiscation is not. Thus, the concept includes all the cases in which a body interfered to prevent dissemination of news contents. This may be done by suspending the print or distribution of the newspaper, or banning the content from being published (reportage or op-eds, etc.), before the newspaper’s preparation for publishing, or banning the publication of articles by particular writers; perhaps the content of those articles are contrary to the attitude of the concerned bodies. Also, the concept of ban and block takes in some institutions’ resort to litigations against the press institutions as a tool to oblige them have self-censorship on the contents, avoiding the legal prosecutions and the resulted costs and morale damages.
Under the previous definition, this paper seeks to show the incidents of blocking and interdiction and confiscation that Egyptian newspapers, journalists and writers sustain during the period subsequent to deposing former President Mohamed Morsi, with particular emphasis on the period following the enforcement of Egyptian constitution after its approval in January 2014. The paper provides cases of printing prevention and distribution of newspapers, gives most salient examples of lawsuits against newspapers by state institutions, as well as for cases of targeting specific articles or writers by ban.

1- Confiscation of Newspapers

El Shaab Newspaper’s Confiscation\ 26 January 2014
Boulaq Abu El-Ela prosecution, presided over by Jude Amr Ghorab, ordered the seizure of a large number of El Shaab newspaper’s issues for reportedly having articles and reports that incite to violent acts against policemen, military men and state establishments. The prosecution has demanded from Akhbar Al-Youm Institution (responsible for printing the issues) to halt printing El Shaab newspaper; depending on a decision that has been made by the cabinet.
Nonetheless, Magdy Hussein- the newspaper’s editor-in-chief- has confirmed that the institution, with which El Shaab newspaper contracted to print the issues, sent a fax on Sunday 26 January 2014, which reads: “Al-Akhbar Institution apologizes for not printing El Shaab newspaper for 6 months because of the replacement and renewal operations.

Distribution of Al-Watan Newspaper Suspended (By its board of directors) 6 February 2014

Businessman Mohamed Al-Amin, Al-Watan Newspaper chairman, suspended the printing and distribution of Al-Watan issue of 6 February 2014 for allegedly publishing false news about then Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s financial disclosure. However, the issue was out after changing the front page and the report on Al-Sisi’s financial disclosure.

Al Wadye Newspaper’s Issues Suspended\ 4 March 2014
The institution that is responsible for printing Al Wadye newspaper abstained from printing the newspaper’s third issue, and then a state of turbulence dominated in the newspaper’s board concerning the reasons for not printing the issues. Khaled al-Balshy, Al Wadye editor-in-chief, has announced that the reasons for abstention are unknown . He added that the issue was including a report on the raid on state security headquarters and SCAF’s role in this, in addition to other article about Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s running for presidency (then-Field Marshal). Moreover, the issue took in coverage of the army’s invention that eliminates Virus C and HIV, and an article for Dr. Alaa Awad that confirms the armed forces’ invention has not gotten a patent. Two articles also from prisons, al-Balshy added, for Alaa Abdel-Fattah and Ahmed Maher.
Meanwhile, Eng. Tareq Nadeem, the newspaper’s chairman, denied what has been disseminated in media regarding the suspension of Al Wadye newspaper due to security orders.

Raid on Printery and Confiscation of Wasla Newspaper\ 14 June 2014
The security bodies had stormed the printing house that prints Wasla newspaper, a non-periodical newspaper released by ANHRI five years ago. So far, ANHRI has released 72 issues of the newspaper. Thereafter, the security confiscated about 1,000 copies of the newspaper and the printing templates, besides it apprehended the printing house’s worker. When ANHRI’s lawyer went to Awseem police station (affiliated to the Press), the police officers refused to show him the communiqué or to brief him about the details and the reasons behind the incident; despite of the clear Constitution’s provisions that oblige the police to verbally inform the detained person with the reasons of his detention and the inadmissibility of the confiscation of any printed source except by a valid warrant. Nevertheless, the lawyer knows that the charges are “printing a newspaper that calls for the overthrow of the regime, and inciting to the downfall of the regime, in addition to that, the newspaper is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood” !!
After the prosecution has detected that the allegations are false, it released the worker and discontinued the case. Nonetheless, the copies were not returned so far.

Sout Alomma’s printed copies delayed\ 28 August-2 September 2014

The weekly issue of Sout Alomma, on 28 August 2014, was delayed, and the editor-in-chief, Abdel-Halim Qandil, has announced that the reason is a technical problem in Al-Ahram institution, leading to the delay of issuing the newspaper on its time.

Nonetheless, it was reported that there are negotiations between the newspaper’s board and a soverign body to allow printing the issue after deleting reportage on the corruption of a businessman, affiliated to that body.

Confiscation of Al-Masry Al-Youm\ 1 October 2014
A sovereign body yesterday confiscated the issue of Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, which set to be out on October 1, after deleting the 8th episode of “The Fox” memoirs series that is written by journalist Mohamed Sayyed Saleh, and in which the fox talks about special operations of the Israeli Mossad.

Printing Al-Mesreyoun Newspaper Suspended\ 13 December 2014
“Al-Ahram” printing press suspending the weekly issue of Al-Mesreyoun newspaper, as a security body had objected to some topics tackled in that issue. However, they allowed printing the copies after 8 hours.
A “security authority” has expressed its objection on the content of the issue, and mainly the editor in cheif “Jamal Sultan’s” article entitled “Sisi, Shafiq, UAE and unanswered questions” and another topic called “The worst kidnapping and torture stories in Egypt in cooperation with the CIA” which was supposed to be published in the fourth page, in addition to an article entitled “Why Sisi fears the next parliament?!”.

Printing Al-Watan Newspaper’s Issues Halted\ 11 March 2015

Some security bodies ordered the suspension of printing an issue of AlWatan Newspaper, on 11 March 2015, on account of reportage about 13 ministries and sovereign bodies that refrain from paying taxes due to the state, as the presidency tops them. The newspaper has reported that these taxes are worth EGP7.9 billion in one year. Thereafter, the newspaper’s issue was printed following the deletion of this reportage, by the newspaper’s board, and exchanging it with another news story.
Al-Ahram chairman Ahmed El-Sayed El-Naggar has commented on the incident, saying: “the institution has nothing to do with changing Al-Watan’s main headline, as Al-Ahram only prints the contents received from the newspaper, depending on a contract signed between the two parties,,, we do not interfere in the received content.”

Al-Watan Newspaper’s Print Runs Suspended & Torn\ 11 May 2015
The security bodies confiscated the annual issue of Al-Watan newspaper dated the 11th of May 2015, in spite of printing 48 thousand copies. The confiscation was due to reportage entitled “7 More Powerful than Al-Sisi”. The security bodies also refused publishing an article by the managing editor Alaa Al- Ghetrify, which was entitled “The Policeman, Son of the Palace, Rules”, was removed.

Al-Bayan Newspaper Confiscated & its Editor-in-chief Arrested\ 18 May 2015

Egyptian security forces arrested journalist “Ibrahim Aref”- Al-Bayan newspaper’s editor-in-chief- from the newspaper’s headquarters in Dokki, and confiscated the last copies of it. The arrest came after the public prosecution’s decision made on the 18th of May 2015 to arraign and arrest him over the charges of spreading false news that could disturb public security, terrorizing people and harming public interest; whereas Al-Bayan Newspaper published, on May 18 morning, a false news story on its website concerning the assassination of 6 deputies to the public prosecutor on the same day on Cairo-Suez road.
Noteworthy, Ibrahim Aref was released on the following day on bail of EGP10000.

Sout Alomma’s Copies Suspended & Torn\ 14 August 2015
Egyptian security forces have removed the issues of Sout Alomma newspaper released on Friday, 14 August 2015, from the newspaper stands and torn them, according to the press statements made by its editor-in-chief, Abdel-Halim Qandil.
The issue’s front page had headlines criticizing Mubarak, ex-president of Egypt, such as “Mubarak’s Down with Egypt Gang”, “The Ousted president spends his prison term in Qatamia palace”, “Nazif supervises doctoral dissertations although he is jailed”, and “Ezz donates EGP 1 million in spite of seizing his funds.”
Additionally, it included a headline about the health of Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s mother. It reads, “His mother’s health condition deteriorated.. He visited her two days before the military evacuation”. In addition to that, there was an article criticizing Minister of Justice Ahmed Al-Zind under the title “Security bodies are getting ready to withdraw 500 acres he seized… the fall of Mona Aboud’s, Al-Zind partner, empire.”

Ban on Printing AlSabah Newspaper\ 22 August 2015
Al-Ahram institution has prevented the print of a weekly issue of “AlSabah” newspaper, on Saturday 22 August 2015, due to an article about Chairman of the Nation’s Future Party Mohamed Badran, and a figure that is always escorting President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi.
The article was entitled “How to become the president’s child in 9 steps” by columnist Ahmed Refaat, and published in the fourteenth page. The newspaper’s board has changed it in order to allow printing the copies.

Printing Almesryoon Newspaper’s Issues Banned\ 24 August 2015
Almesryoon news portal announced that Al-Ahram has suspended the print of weekly issue of Almesryoon that is scheduled to be released on the 24th of August 2015. This move is owing to the objections to an article entitled “Why Al-Sisi does not stop playing the role of Islamic thinker?” by Almesryoon editor-in-chief “Gamal Sultan”. The article criticizes president Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s focus on religious discourse issue, in addition to a report on Al-Sisi’s visit to Britain and the arrests threats. However, it was allowed to Almesryoon to print its issue after changing the editor-in-chief’s article.
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Printing “Ketab Magazine” Delayed\ 15 August 2015

Ketab Magazine, released by Egyptian General Book Authority, has posted on its Facebook page an apology for its readers concerning the delay of its new issue, which was set to be out on 15 August 2015. That issue was double, included the months of July and August.

Helmy El-Namnam, Book Authority’s acting director, has released a statement confirming his support to the magazine and its editorial board, and his insistence on its continuation as well as provision of the full freedom to its team to perform their work. Moreover, he denied any intent to close the magazine or change its editorial board; emphasizing that the board is keen to provide the magazine with good quality technically and editorially and with a price that Egyptian reader can afford. In his statement, Mohamed Shaeer said that “the magazine was released last January in accordance with the conditions that have been agreed upon with Egyptian General Book Authority, which gave no attention to the details of printing and printery except the quality. The authority has also chosen the printery to print the issues, and did not interfere in the editorial board’s selections; except reviewing the proof provided for the successive issues. Under close super supervision by the editorial board, the magazine released the first five issues regularly. Those issues have been applauded by the readers.

2- Communiqués against Newspapers

A Communiqué against Al-Dostour Newspaper by Interior Ministry, & its Reporter Arrested\ 6 April 2015
As a ramification to the reportage, published by Al-Dostour newspaper, on monitoring the police agents’ violations, the Ministry of Interior arrested Al-Dostour newspaper reporter “Hussein Mahmoud Abdel-Halim” for allegedly implementing previous verdicts against him. In addition, it stormed the house of the newspaper’s chairman of the board. Meanwhile, Al-Dostour newspaper has published the journalist’s criminal record to confirm that he is not convicted in any cases.
However, the Interior Ministry filed a complaint to the public prosecutor against Reda Edward, chairman of the board, and Saeed Wahba, editor-in-chief, who were summoned to the prosecution then. But they were released on bail of EGP 5000.

Complaint against Al-Masry Al-Youm Newspaper by Interior Ministry\ 19 April 2015
The Ministry of Interior issued a statement, on 19 April 2015, attacking the fearless reportage that was published by Al-Masry Al-Youm on the same and entitled “The Police: Martyrs & Offenders.. Holes in Police Uniforms”. The report criticizes the violation committed by those who belong to the Interior Ministry. It, moreover, threatened Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper; emphasizing that “it would take legal procedures concerning tackling these issues in news.”
On 15 June 2015, the Interior Ministry has relinquished its complaint against Al-Masry Al-Youm, after the Journalists’ Syndicate and human rights organizations had showed support to the newspaper. According to the public prosecutor’s statement, the ministry justified that move, saying: “it is keen on consolidate the relation with the people and journalists.”

Interior Ministry’s Complaint against Youm7 Newspaper\ 13 June 2015

On the 13th of June 2015, Khaled Salah- editor-in-chief of Youm7 newspaper- along with El-Sayed Falah- editor at the Governorates Department- were arrested against the backdrop of a communiqué filed by the Ministry of Interior against both of them following publishing a news story related to the attack on cars affiliated to the presidency during their return from Sharm Al-Sheikh, dated 11 June 2015. Thereafter, Youm7 Newspaper has published all news stories that deny that allegation; on top of them was an official denial for the presidency.

The public prosecutor ordered their release on bail of EGP10000. On the other hand, the representatives of Journalists’ Syndicates have not been allowed to attend the investigations, for allegedly finishing the probe.

3- Crackdown on Writers

Travel Ban on Writer “Fahmy Howeidi”\ 23 May 2014

The security bodies at Cairo International Airport prevented the journalist Fahmi Howeidi- known for his criticism of ousting former President Mohamed Morsi and the repressive practices perpetuated by security bodies following the deposition, from travelling. On the 23th of May 2014, Howeidi was surprised that he is barred from travelling to Madrid, while he was carrying out his travel procedures at Cairo International Airport, without being notified of the reasons behind such a ban, or informed of any decree either from the judicial system or the Public Prosecution concerning the legality of the travel ban decision.

Al-Ahram Newspaper Bans Publishing Nader Al-Fergany’s Articles\ 25 May 2014

Professor Nader Al-Fergany, chief of editorial team of the Arab Human Development Report sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), proclaimed on Sunday (May 25, 2014) that his articles were banned from being published by Al-Ahram newspaper. As said by the journalist, the ban was against the backdrop of his articles that criticize Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and the current regime. In one of his article titled “Field Marshal and the Revolution’s Orientations” that was published by Al-Ahram newspaper on March 24, 2014, Al-Fergany said that Al-Sisi’s speech looks like the speech of deposed President Hosni Mubarak.
The last article of the journalist published by Al-Ahram newspaper is on May 19 and entitled “The Uncanny Silence about Egypt’s Stolen Money”, in which he criticizes the presidential candidates’ refraining from speaking about the Egyptian people’s stolen money abroad.
The ban of the journalist’s article occurred a day before the presidential elections kicked off in Egypt, when the Egyptian authorities are required to diffuse freedom of opinion and criticism if they are seriously willing to achieve democracy.

• Al-Shorouk Newspaper Bans Belal Fadl’s Article entitled “The Political Marshal”\ 2 February 2014

Journalist and scriptwriter “Belal Fadl” announced on his Twitter account, on the 2nd of February 2015, that he would stop writing in Al-Shrouk newspaper, after “it banned his article yesterday and today”. Fadl said the newspaper has published an apology on his behalf without his knowledge. Also, he mentioned that he would publish the banned article in another portal in order to be in the reader’s hands, according to his description.

Alaa Al-Aswani Voluntarily Suspends his Articles in Al-Masry Al-Youm to Support Belal Fadl\ 23 December 2014

Egyptian writer and novelist Alaa Al-Aswani has suspended his articles in Al-Masry Al-Youm to show solidarity with Belal Fadl, a writer, after preventing his series “People of Alexandria”. He referred that what happened to Fadl is a punishment for his opposition to June 30- regime.
On his Twitter account, Al-Aswani wrote: “I stopped writing in Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper”.. I thank you for reading my weekly articles and hope we meet in another newspaper, God willing”.

Later on the same day, he wrote a new tweet that reads: “Only one opinion, one thinking & one speech is allowed, criticism and difference of opinions are not allowed, and praise is allowed at the expense of truth.”

Al-Ahram Bans Osama Al-Ghazali Harb’s Article Entitled “No to Al-Bashir”

Al-Ahram newspaper has banned an article entitled “No to Al-Bashir”, by Osama Al-GHazali Harb, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Free Egyptians Party. In his elaboration of the ban reasons, Harb confirmed that he is convinced with the significance of Egyptian-Sudanese relations, but he objects that the Egyptian president participates in the installation of that president who committed crimes against humanity and is wanted by the International Criminal Court, as well as he has Muslim Brotherhood affiliations. Moreover, he caused the division of his country, and plays a big role in supporting terrorism in Libya.

Al-Watan Newspaper Bans an Article for Columnist Mohamed Fathy\ 29 May 2014

On the 29th of May 2014, Mohamed Fathy, a columnist and academic, sent his last article that was entitled “Edemoh.. Kawyemoh and Elbesouh” to Al-Watan newspaper. At the end of his article, he apologized to the readers and editor-in-chief for not continuing his articles in the newspaper, which in turn banned the article and only published the apology.

Conclusion

If we want to put the block, ban and confiscation incidents in the wider framework of violations against the Egyptian press during the past two years, it will seem limited in terms of percentage. The stated period has witnessed an unprecedented escalation of violations journalists, whereas no less than 8 journalists have been killed while carrying out their work. Meanwhile, more 60 persons were arrested and held on remand, which in some cases reached more than two years. Some of them, now, are facing trials over different criminal charges, although they were arrested during their work. On the other side, the Egyptian press faces crackdown that includes all its institutions and workers. That crackdown is represented in new legislation that limits the freedom of information and its publishing. Perhaps the most salient one is the recently-passed Terrorism Law, as one of its articles penalizes any person publishes information related to terrorist incidents contrary to what is published by the ministry of defense; in an express violation of the Constitution’s provisions.

The general climate tightening the noose on the press, in addition to the Egyptian authority’s tendency to overlook the Constitution regarding its legislation- under the absence of the parliament- should be taken into consideration when we explain the common pattern of block and ban processes that we documented in this paper.

If it seemed that the power avoids the direct confiscation, whether by an administrative decision of or judicial order, we can not state that this was due to lack of interest to clash with journalists, or show off that it respects the Constitution and the rule of law. In fact, we should interpret this pattern by more practical justifications.

First highlights force of habit: This type of the security services’ intervention in the printing and distribution of newspapers through the state-owned national enterprises that monopolize this necessary work of journalist infrastructure, is an old style and stable, around which a network of relationships and mechanisms have been formed to make its use very easy and flexible as well. Its absence for a limited period was only for the working conditions of the same security services affected by the revolution during its first phase and then to the trends of these bodies and their obvious hostility, even it was not declared expressly under the rule of former President Mohamed Morsi in the next phase. Then and with the disappearance of both factors, these bodies’ return to intervene in the printing and distribution of newspapers through its network and old mechanisms was more than normal matter.

Comes Second: This type of block and ban maintains the regime in the upper levels, far from being busy with keeping track of what the media is publishing, and interfering in it. It rather leaves this task to the security bodies, which also have the right to assess what is appropriate to do with them. This can be compared by the situation of political power in the era of the deposed President Mohamed Morsi, whose presidency needed to comment on and interfere in; but what was permissible then is to lodge lawsuits. Thus, it is not surprisingly that that period had the highest rate of insulting the president cases, compared with the previous and the next periods.

Third as Justification or Advantage: Using this style of blocking and banning highlights its overall impact in the result because it is by multiple parties and not bound by specific rules- declared or implied. It puts the journalists under constant pressure, represented in every press institution’s attempt to avoid blocking or banning its newspaper, and the consequent losses and morale damage on precautions and red lines that should be exposed to. In that sense, the self-censorship practiced by news institutions on editors and writers has more effective and comprehensive role may be done by any security apparatus, if it has the legal authority to control in accordance with the declared conditions. As a result, this type of intervention in terms of impact produces subtle restrictions on freedom of the press that go beyond the registered facts and cases. It reflects the incidents of not publishing particular articles or stop publication for certain writers, which were documented in this paper and carried out by the news institutions themselves without external interference in many cases, the effectiveness of this overall impact in practice.

Previous points show that blocking newspapers and preventing from publication and distribution are essential and stable tool used by the authority in Egypt, and rely on the infrastructure associated with the structure of ownership and management of the national press institutions, and provide authority with several advantages in the context of its commitment to the public field and its control. Thus, this phenomenon is here to stay, as long as the infrastructure depending on which has been dismantled, through the provision of real independence for the national press institutions or through private newspapers liberation from dependence on these institutions for the purposes of printing and distribution. In the broader context, the blocking and interdiction and confiscation as violations of the freedom of the press can not disappear under the prevailing of a total disregard by the authority and its institutions and bodies of the Constitution and the law.

It remains to add that the Egyptian press is facing an unprecedented crisis does not limit its freedom and daily work only, but affect the existence of institutions per se. There is no doubt that self-censorship that is applied by the majority of press institutions, whether for fear of blocking and prevention or to be close to the power and in the interests of owners, significantly contributes to the readers’ abstention from newspapers. Although many have referred to the role of the internet and social networks, in particular, in limiting the printed press, this role can not be solely responsible for the significant decline in the Egyptian newspaper distribution rates in the recent period, especially since the proportion of Internet users in Egypt is still low compared to many countries within and outside the region.

contribute a share galore in the departure of the ordinary about the reader. Although many of the right of reference to the role of private information and social networks as a network in the decline of the role of the printed press, this role can not be solely responsible for the significant decline in the Egyptian newspaper circulation rates in the recent period, especially since the proportion of Internet users in Egypt is still low compared to many countries within and outside the region.

The journalists and institutions should consider the mechanisms of block and prevention currently used as a fundamental pillar for threatening the existence of Egyptian press. The society itself, which is the primary and basic beneficiary of the existence and continuation of the printed press as a key part of public field, should notice the surrounding crises that could deprive them of it. In this context, the current period represents a defining moment to determine the course of things and control the future of the Egyptian press, or more precisely determine whether the future of the Egyptian press at all.