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Egypt judge, journalists charged for 'slanderous' interview

Egypt's Middle East News Agency (MENA) [official website] announced on Monday that Judge Hisham Genina and two journalists will be prosecuted for allegedly insulting other judges. Genina gave an interview to Moammed el-Sanhouri, a reporter for Al-Masry Al-Youm daily in 2012, in which the judge accused the head of the Egyptian Judges' Club [website, in Arabic], a social club for judges, of corruption. Both the judge and the reporter are now being charged with libel, along with the news publication's Chief Editor Magdi el-Galad.

Egypt has previously been sharply criticized [JURIST feature] for laws giving the government and security services the authority to censor the media. In 2010, Egypt issued new media restrictions [JURIST report] that critics say effectively put all live television media, including talk shows and news shows, under government control. Earlier that month, Ibrahim Eissa, editor-in-chief and creator of the private daily paper Al-Dustour [official website, in Arabic], was fired [BBC report] after he published an op-ed piece by opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei. In 2008, Eissa was convicted for spreading "rumors" [JURIST report] about the health of Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak in an August 2007 report. Egypt's Abbaseyya Appeals Court upheld the conviction [JURIST report] in 2008.

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