News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

Detention of journalist sparks protest in Egypt

Egypt`s President intervened to release a newspaper editor jailed over accusations of insulting him.

Cairo: The detention of the editor-in-chief of an Egyptian daily newspaper, who was charged with insulting President Mohammed Mursi, has added fuel to the planned protests against Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, which backed his presidential bid.

Even after the Egyptian President on Thursday used the legislative powers he wrested back from the Army this month to pass a law banning the pre-trial detention of journalists, the anger against the Muslim Brotherhood was noticeably hiked in the country before the scheduled protest.

Mursi, who was sworn in as President in late June, issued the law just hours after a Cairo court ordered the imprisonment of Islam Afifi, the editor of the privately-owned el-Dustour daily, on the charges of insulting the Egyptian President.

The call for protests against Mursi was intensified after the Upper House of Parliament, controlled by a majority of Islamists, placed new regulations to appoint new editors-in-chief for the state-funded papers.

The new appointees have already banned the publishing of several commentaries which criticised the Muslim Brotherhood or the president. Many saw this ban as the beginning of a terror campaign against any opposition.

The call for the protests was further augmented after the Egyptian president reshuffled the country`s top brass on August 12 removing the minister of defence, who was the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed forces in charge of the country since Mubarak stepped down on February 11, 2012.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian security officials said that it does not expect the number of protesters on Friday to exceed 50,000 and that it has taken all precautionary measures to protect the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood against any possible sabotage.