Ibrahim Eissa fired from al-Destour

When things looked up.The big news in Egypt this morning is that Ibrahim Eissa, the founding editor of al-Destour newspaper, has been fired by its new owner, Wafd Party leader al-Sayyid Badawi. It's not clear why this happened, but some allege it's because Eissa wanted to publish a critical article by Mohamed ElBaradei on the 6 October war (more on that in English at Zeinobia).

We'll probably hear from Eissa himself later today — in the meantime his staff is staging a walkout and the gossip mill says Masri al-Youm's Suleiman Gouda is poised to be the new editor — but the wider interpretation of this will be clear. It will be seen as the result of pressure by the regime, shortly after Eissa loses his TV show on Naguib Sawiris' ONTV, to get rid of the single most influential critical voice in the Egyptian media, and one whose contribution to the current anti-regime atmosphere prevalent in the rest of the media cannot be underestimated. 

Things look set for a repeat of Eissa's previous black-balling from Egypt's media scene, something I looked at back in 2005 when he was making his triumphal return (see PDF of that article for Cairomag). All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.

Here's a statement from Destour journalists put up on Facebook.

 

 

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.