TV talk show host released


An Egyptian TV talk show host was released on bail after being detained for allegedly defaming the police, judicial sources said.

A Cairo prosecutor ordered Khairy Ramadan, who hosts a nightly talk show called Egypt Today on state-run Channel 1, be detained for four days for questioning.

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

Ramadan paid 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($570) bail on Monday.

Pro-government news website El Watan said the accusation against Ramadan came after an episode in which he said he had spoken to the wife of a police officer struggling to get by financially. The interior ministry filed a legal complaint about Ramadan, state news agency MENA said.

News outlets reporting from Egypt have come under fire from authorities in the past week. The government press centre urged all officials to boycott the BBC, accusing the British broadcaster of “spreading lies” in a report on human rights in Egypt.

The media scrutiny comes ahead of a March 26-28 presidential election in which Sisi is virtually guaranteed to win a second term, running against a single, little-known opponent who supports the incumbent.