MB: Govmnt. Imposing Media Blackout on Parliament Sessions

Muslim Brotherhood deputies in the Egyptian parliament accused official Egyptian media of imposing a total blackout on the deliberations of the People’s Assembly (Egyptian parliament), where the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) occupies 20 percent of the seats.

The Parliamentarian MB bloc submitted a memorandum to the speaker of parliament, Ahmad Fathi Sorour, asking him to offer in a public tender to Arab satellite TVs the rights of transmitting the parliament’s sessions and to put an end to the official channels’ monopoly of that transmission, since they deliberately distort the performance of members of parliaments, especially the MB deputies.

Al-Jazeerah quoted the spokesman for the MB bloc, Mr. Hamdy Hassan, as saying, “this demand comes as a reaction to the prevention by the executive authority, through the Ministry of Information, of radio or television transmission of deliberations of the sessions of parliament, as well as its deliberate distortion of the performance of the legislature.”

He pointed out that “there is a deliberate blackout on the sessions and debates of parliament ending the five years practice of live trasnmission of parliament sessions; to prevent more than 128 deputies, including 88 MB deputies, from having their voice reach the public and escape further losses by the ruling party in terms of its popularity, which is already low..”

He mentioned a number of measures designed to restrict the carrying out by deputies of their role in parliament, for example by deliberately manipulating transmissions, intervention by newscasters to comment on the deliberations or to make an announcement while a member speaks so as to prevent the statement of the deputy from reaching the audience. He affirmed that he had some recordings which prove those flagrant violations.

The spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood bloc considered “this practice an abuse of national media organs by the government and its party, motivated by a narrow partisan vision which is unprecedented, and contradicts all pledges of reform.”

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