Cairo’s Administrative Court deferred on Sunday the consideration into a lawsuit filed by an editor-in-chief whose media website was blocked and fined by the Supreme Media Council (SMC) last week over alleged violations. The court postponed the lawsuit until 26 May.
The suit, No 39418, was filed last week by Magdi Shendi, the editor-in-chief of Al-Mashhad newspaper, to appeal the decision of the SMC. The council blocked the newspaper for six months and fined it EGP 50,000 over “violating media standards and public morals,” by publishing “inappropriate photos” which Al-Mashhad denied.
Earlier, the SMC issued a penalties list for media and social media platforms. The list-the suit stated-went beyond the council’s powers and represents a defiance regarding legalising penalties that were not imposed by the country’s laws.
The suit added that the kind of penalties the SMC issued are in fact criminal punishments which can never be imposed without laws and a court ruling.
Meanwhile, the suit simplified that the SMC penalties list violated the Egyptian Constitution which guaranteed the freedom of expression and listed articles that protect the freedom of the press.
Last week, the Press Syndicate’s board council decided to appeal the SMC penalties’ list, particularly the articles that they said violate the country’s constitution or laws.
In March, the SMC issued a nine-page resolution, No 16 for 2019, to regulate the media and social media platforms. The list was faced by waves of rejection as critics believe it imposes more restrictions on the freedom of press and expression in Egypt.
In the event of committing a listed violation, the SMC has the right to take measures which include blocking the media website, suspending its licence, or imposing a fine.