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Egyptian police raid website office and detain editor-in-chief

Egypt has clamped down on media and activism [file photo-AFP]

Date of publication: 4 April, 2018

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Egyptian police have raided the offices of Masr al-Arabia website, following a report on the country's one horse race presidential election last week.
Egyptian police raided the offices of a website Tuesday evening, arresting its Editor-in-Chief Adel Sabri, media has reported.

Two days earlier, Masr al-Arabia had been ordered by a state media regulator to pay a $2,849 fine for republishing an article from The New York Times, which criticised Egypt's one-horse-race presidential elections.

Police raided the offices on Tuesday evening alleging the site did not have a license to operate, according to Reuters

Madr Masr said police claimed to be checking on "software licenses" and detained Sabri at a local police station.

Journalists from Masr al-Arabia contacted Makram Mohamed Ahmed, the head of the Supreme Media Regulatory Council, who told them they must pay the fine issued by the regulator, Madr Masr added on its site.

Masr al-Arabiya's editor-in-chief is still being held and will be taken before a prosecutor on charges of running a news website without a permit, Reuters added.

The media site's offices has been emptied of staff and sealed with red wax, according to the agency.

Masr al-Arabiya is one of 500 websites blocked by Egypt in recent months.

Abdel Fatah al-Sisi won 97 percent of the vote in last week's election, which was ignored by most of the country.

In an effort to have a big turn out and add legitimacy to the election, state employers were reportedly pressured into voting.

Sisi stood against one pro-regime candidate after all other challengers were forced to quit or were arrested.

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