By Viola Fahmy
The Egyptian authorities have banned publication of the Sunday edition of a pro-government newspaper for questioning the security apparatus’s failure to arrest a former government minister convicted of corruption.
According to a statement released by private daily Al-Bawaba, publication of the paper’s Sunday edition was banned because it featured a news report on the failure of Egypt’s security apparatus to arrest Habib al-Adly, a former interior minister who served under autocratic President Hosni Mubarak.
Mubarak was forced to step down as president following an 18-day popular uprising in early 2011.
After having played a central role in Mubarak’s repressive regime from 1997 to 2011, Al-Adly was slapped with a seven-year jail sentence in April -- along with millions of dollars in fines -- after being convicted of embezzling public funds while serving as interior minister.
Al-Bawaba said that the state-run Al-Ahram publishing house had refused to print its Sunday edition because “certain parties” -- who it did not identify -- had “demanded the deletion of a front-page report about al-Adly’s continued ability to escape punishment”.
Sunday’s news report was meant to coincide with recent parliamentary efforts to question Magdi Abdel Ghaffar, Egypt’s current Interior Minister, regarding al-Adly’s fate and the failure to bring him to justice.
The newspaper has reportedly called on President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to intervene in the situation with a view to “enforcing the law and protecting [the newspaper] from blatant interference by parties who are trying to conceal their career failures”.
Amid steadily mounting criticism, Egypt’s security apparatus insists it is doing everything in its power to find and arrest al-Adly, who disappeared shortly after his conviction in April.