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Court Postpones Decision On Closure Of BBC’s Cairo Office

An Egyptian court on Tuesday postponed until April 24 its decision on the closure of the BBC office in Cairo following a report the broadcaster aired on forced disappearances in the country, state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported.

The lawsuit alleges that the BBC published a series of false and fabricated news and comes after one of its reports included an interview with a woman, who claimed her daughter had been secretly arrested and imprisoned by Egyptian authorities in April 2017.

Several days later, the daughter, Zubeida, appeared on an Egyptian talk show denying she had been detained or abused in any way.

The mother was arrested on charges of spreading false information.

Egypt’s State Information Service, which runs the foreign correspondents’ press centre, issued a statement demanding that the BBC apologise for the report, which it described as “fabrication.’’

The BBC said that it “stands by the integrity of its reporting teams and that it will be discussing the complaint with Egyptian authorities in the coming days.’’

Rights groups say large-scale human rights abuses have taken place in Egypt since the army’s 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi following mass protests against his rule.

Authorities have repeatedly called the violations “isolated cases” and vowed to punish wrongdoers.


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