Cairo TV host ordered arrested for defaming police


A Cairo prosecutor ordered a state TV talk show host be detained for four days of questioning for allegedly defaming the police, state news agency MENA reported.

The order came days after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said insulting Egypt’s security forces amounted to treason and after the public prosecutor urged legal action against media outlets deemed to be publishing “false news”.

The presenter, Khairy Ramadan, hosts a nightly talk show called Egypt Today on Egypt’s state-run Channel 1.

Pro-government news website El Watan said the accusation came after an episode in which Ramadan said he spoke with the wife of a police officer struggling to get by financially.

The interior ministry filed a legal complaint about Ramadan, MENA said.

News outlets, including the BBC, reporting from Egypt are under fire from authorities with Egypt’s government press centre urging officials to boycott after an article about human rights that stirred controversy.

The press centre accused the British state broadcaster of “spreading lies” by reporting the alleged forced disappearance of an Egyptian woman at the hands of authorities. The woman appeared days later on a talk show denying the report. The BBC said it stands by the “integrity of our reporting teams”.

The scrutiny of news outlets comes ahead of a March 26-28 presidential election which Sisi is virtually guaranteed to win, running against a single, little-known opponent who said he supports the incumbent.