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The Constituent Assembly has finished drafting constitutional articles pertaining to the freedom of the press that prohibit the imprisonment of journalists charged with so-called publishing crimes, assembly spokesperson Wahid Abdel Meguid said on Monday.
“Individuals, institutions and political parties have the right to issue newspapers after giving the proper notification,” Abdel Meguid said in a statement on Monday. “Censorship or administrative banning of the media is prohibited, with some exceptions in a time of war.”
However, the judiciary was not mentioned in this clause, suggesting that it would be possible to ban media through judicial channels.
Abdel Meguid also explained that the state would guarantee the independence of all state-owned or sponsored media.
The Salafi Nour Party, however, persisted in their calls for punitive articles for journalists charged with publishing false material that may damage individuals or institutions.
By the end of last month, Abdel Meguid said that the Constituent Assembly needs more time to finalize the new constitution and to reach a consensus over its articles.
"After extensive discussions over the ideas suggested by assembly members for the past month and a half, it was determined that we need three more months to finalize the draft before it can be put to a referendum," Abdel Meguid told state-run news agency MENA on 30 July.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm