The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom, today condemned Egypt for revoking the credentials of The Guardian correspondent Ruth Michaelson for a report on COVID-19 infections in the country.
On March 18, the Press Information Service of Egypt announced that it had withdrawn the accreditation of Michaelson following a report in The Guardian that it claimed did not meet the required journalistic standards.
“The decision to take away the accreditation of Ruth Michaelson is another blow to press freedom in Egypt, which is one of the leading jailors of journalists in the world”, IPI Director of Advocacy Ravi R. Prasad said. “This is an attempt by the government to control the public narrative on coronavirus in the country. The withdrawal of credentials as in this case will deny Egyptians and people around the world credible and independent reporting on the situation in the country.”
This latest action of the Egyptian government offers further evidence of its intolerance to critical analysis by scientists, academic and journalists.
The Egyptian government was unhappy over a report Michaelson published in The Guardian on March 15 that said the infections in Egypt could be much higher than the government reported figures. The report was based on a study conducted by academics of the University of Toronto, which a number of Egyptian scientists and the government have rejected.