Egypt’s Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek released an order on Wednesday that legal actions be taken against media outlets that publish ‘false news and rumors’.
In a statement, Sadek urged all the prosecutors to take the necessary legal action against outlets that deliberately publish rumors to ‘disrupt Egypt’s public security’.
Sadek’s statement came in light of the latest report published by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on enforced disappearance in Egypt.
The report titled “The Shadow over Egypt” published on Friday shed lights on an alleged case of enforced disappearance, torture among others.
“Forces of evil have recently been attempting to undermine the safety and security of the nation through promoting and publishing lies and false news,” the statement read.
Egypt currently has at least more than 500 blocked websites citing claims of ‘supporting terrorism’.
One of the cases mentioned by the BBC report was a 25-year-old girl called Zubeida. Her mother talked to the BBC on the alleged enforced disappearance of her daughter, accusing Egypt’s security forces of kidnapping her daughter.
However, Zubeida made a TV appearance with TV host Amr Adib denying the claims of her mother. She also claimed that she has no idea about what the BBC wrote.
On Wednesday, social media users shared a video claiming that Zubeida was interviewed by TV host Amr el-Leithy in 2015 under the name “Nahed”. She was interviewed for an alleged crime of killing a young girl.
The State Information System (SIS) released a statement urging officials not to have any interviews with the BBC. It further added that the report had professional errors regarding the situation in Egypt.
The BBC nevertheless stands by what it described as “the integrity of our reporting teams”.
While Zubeida made a TV appearance following the BBC report, there was no comment on the rest of the cases mentioned in the BBC report.
Egyptian authorities deny any cases of forced disappearances or tortures in prisons amid efforts by international and local rights groups to fight against claims of human rights violations.