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Popular Egyptian talk show host detained for 'insulting police'

Pro-government Khairy Ramadan was detained late on Sunday. [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 March, 2018

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An Egyptian presenter was detained just after Cairo authorities warned they were keeping a close eye on media and ready to tackle "false" news.

Egyptian prosecutors have ordered a prominent state television talk show host to be held in custody for four days on accusations that he insulted the police.

Pro-government Khairy Ramadan was detained late on Sunday after he discussed the complaints of low salaries among Egyptian police officers last month on his show Egypt Today on the public broadcaster Channel 1.

Ramadan presented a breakdown of the officer's monthly gross salary of 6,890 pounds ($390).

The decision to detain the presenter comes after authorities warned they were keeping a close eye on media and would take action against anyone spreading "false" news. 

Egypt is currently gearing up for presidential elections on 26 to 28 March that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi looks certain to win.

The state prosecution said on Wednesday that it would monitor news outlets and social media "in light of recent observed attempts to harm the security and safety of the homeland by publishing lies and false news".

Prosecutors were ordered to "take the necessary measures under the criminal law" against "false statements, news and rumours that harm public safety or bring terror into the hearts of individuals".

Since 2013, Egyptian authorities have sentenced hundreds to death and arrested tens of thousands of people following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.

Sisi has overseen the crackdown and the regime he oversees is highly sensitive to any perceived public or private criticism of the government.

Though Islamists have been largely targeted in the sweep, secularists and pro-democracy activists have also been jailed.

A wave of arrests have also taken place against pop singers, actors and others in entertainment.

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