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Online mag faces charges after mocking Egyptian passport

Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR), an independent authority, called for closing Mo4 Network, over “insulting” the Egyptian passport through one of its subordinate entities.

Headed by Makram Mohamed Ahmed, the SCMR, which almost possesses the powers of the Egyptian Ministry of Information that was abolished in 2014, called on the General Authority for Investments to halt the activities of the Media leading agency Mo4 Network, after its subordinate “El Fasla” online magazine issued an “unjustified” insult to the Egyptian passport.

Egypt Today surfed Fasla’s Facebook page to find the phrase that drew the state’s criticism, but the story was seemingly withdrawn. According to media reports, the magazine commented on news concerning the Passport Index’s recent declaration that the UAE passport is the world’s most powerful, considering the Egyptian passport as comparatively useless.

The Egyptian passport can only be used to “make a tour in the countryside,” Fasla said, according to media reports. It also mocked the Egyptians’ pride of their “7,000 year-old civilization.”

The SCMR moved after it received a number of complaints from citizens, where it found that Mo4 Network, which fuels Cairo Zoom and Fasla, has unlicensed websites, according to reports.

Lawyer Samir Sabry, known for filing legal complaints against anti-state parties, filed a lawsuit to General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek against Fasla Magazine’s website.

In an interview with Egypt Today, Sabry said that he accuses the website of insulting the Egyptian state, and inciting harming the national economy through mocking the passport and the Egyptian civilization.

The Fasla website is part of the Cairo Scene, an entertaining online magazine established by Mo4 Network that was co-founded by Amy Mowafi. According to Mo4’s official Facebook page, the agency handles over 140 clients who include many of the “world’s most powerful brands.”

SCMR bans LTC 

On Monday, the SCMR issued a decree to ban LTC satellite channel until its owners are able to legalize the channel’s situation.

The SCMR has previously set a time limit of 30 days for the channel to legalize its situation which ended on November 20.

The SCMR decree was issued in accordance with law No. 180 on press and media regulation. The law states that broadcasting after the end of the time limit is considered a violation against SCMR policies and regulations.

Head of the SCMR complaints department, Jamal Shawki, said in press statements that the channel continued its broadcast despite the repeated warnings issued by the Supreme Council for Media regulations through November.

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