US concerned about restrictions on media freedom in Egypt



Washington: Concerned over reports of restrictions on media in Egypt, the US called the government to respect freedom of expression and free press in the country.

"We have been concerned by reports in recent days of Egyptian Government efforts to restrict media freedom and criticism within Egypt, particularly by investigating media figures, including Bassem Youssef, and individual media organisations for insulting political leaders and allegedly spreading false information," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said yesterday.

"A fundamental aspect of a healthy democracy is that people can be critical of their government and that there can be a free press free from prosecution. So we strongly oppose any kind of legal restrictions on freedom of expression and we continue to urge the Egyptian Government to respect freedom of expression, which is a universal right as one of the harbingers of the kind of country they want to have going forward," she said.

After the approval of the new Constitution, she said, the US is looking to see this is implemented in a manner that maximises the protection of human rights for all Egyptians, that helps to build consensus and build the ability to work together across communities in Egypt.

"That's what we are looking for, that's what the majority of Egyptians are working for," she said.

PTI