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Egypt news website al-Masry al-Youm inaccessible after report on election fraud Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Egypt news website al-Masry al-Youm inaccessible after report on election fraud

The reports come amid a state crackdown on the press [AMAY]

Date of publication: 5 April, 2018

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Egyptian internet users have reported difficulty accessing the website of a local newspaper after it has come under fire from authorities for a report exposing fraud in last week's elections.
Egyptian internet users have reported difficulty accessing the website of a local newspaper after it has come under fire from authorities for a report exposing fraud in last week's elections.

Internet users in Cairo told The New Arab on Thursday that the website of privately-owned al-Masry al-Youm was inaccessible, days after Egypt's media regulator fined the popular daily.

The website currently loads normally from locations outside Egypt.

The reports come amid a state crackdown on the press that escalated ahead of the controversial presidential election, which was widely seen as a one-horse race.

Sources told local outlet Mada Masr on Wednesday that bandwidth "throttling," which authorities use to intentionally slow websites, could be behind the difficulties.

Several al-Masry al-Youm journalists have issued a joint statement on social media condemning the government's attempts to censor their work, al-Araby al-Jadeed reported.

"We cannot be silent against the fierce attack or accept the ongoing violations… the reason for this that is currently being advanced is a headline that stirred differing opinions," the statement said.

Egypt's media regulator fined al-Masry al-Youm $8,500 last week for publishing a front-page story on authorities efforts to mobilise people to cast votes.

The Supreme Council for Media Regulation also ordered the daily to publish an apology in the same spot in the newspaper.

Egyptian police raided local news website Masr al-Arabia and detained its editor-in-chief on Tuesday after it published a report, exposing widespread electoral fraud.

The arrest comes two days after the banned outlet had been ordered by the state media regulator to pay a $2,850 fine for translating an article by The New York Times.

The story said that Egyptians were taking part in the vote for bribes as little as three US dollars.

Egyptian authorities have cracked down on media during presidential elections last week, which saw President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi win a second, four-year term in office.

Sisi has since 2014 moved to tame the media, silencing critical voices and blocking hundreds of independent news sites as part of a wider campaign against dissent.

Egypt has blocked over 500 websites since May 2017, including The New Arab.

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