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Rival Helps Suspended Egyptian Newspaper Publish

Sat., Sept. 13, 1997

An Egyptian opposition newspaper defied a court order that it suspend publication when it published its front page inside a rival daily.

Readers who opened the Al-Ahrar daily found the third page was laid out in the style, font and blue-inked masthead of the Al-Shaab newspaper.

The editor of the pro-Islamic Al-Shaab, Magdi Ahmed Hassan, explained in an editorial that the editor of the centrist Al-Ahrar, Salah Kabdaya, had invited him to run a page in his newspaper for the duration of the suspension.

On Wednesday, a Cairo court banned distribution of the next three issues of the biweekly Al-Shaab. The judge criticized the newspaper for defying the prosecutor-general’s request not to publish material related to a libel investigation initiated by Interior Minister Hassan el-Alfi.

El-Alfi had asked the prosecutor-general to investigate a libel suit against Al-Shaab for a series of articles accusing the minister of protecting drug traffickers and making business deals with suspects in corruption cases.

In his editorial, Hassan said the suspension was unjust and stemmed from an old British law applied to colonial subjects.


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