Egyptian newspaper “El Watan” has announced the suspension of a contest it held to produce a comic book based on the Egyptian government’s latest terror attack.
The comic was titled “Death of the Pharaohs” and was created by the paper’s editor, Khaled Al-Masri, who had previously published cartoons that criticized the government’s response to the Egyptian military’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 2014.
“The editor in chief of El Watan, Khaleef Abouelmi, said on Friday that the cartoon contest had been suspended for one month after a legal dispute, which was initiated by the committee of the editor of the paper, Khairat Al-Zawahiri,” the state news agency MENA reported.
El Watanic, a daily newspaper owned by the ruling Muslim Brotherhood party, had previously printed a cartoon contest that criticized Egypt’s military government, and a similar cartoon contest in which the party’s candidate, Mustafa Abdel Ghani, was shot dead.
In March, Egyptian courts issued a court order barring publication of “the cartoon contest contest,” which had been scheduled to be published on Friday.
Egyptian authorities have imposed a series of harsh restrictions on free speech and the Internet since the military deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2014.
“As a result of this, it is not possible to publish cartoons in the newspaper.
It is forbidden to make cartoons and pictures,” Al-Hassan said in a statement.
“The paper has decided to remove the entry for this contest and issue an apology.”
“In addition, it will suspend the entry of other media organizations to this publication, and it will impose further restrictions on all media,” he added.
Al-Hasan’s decision comes a day after the Cairo government announced that it had imposed a three-month blackout on media, including television and the internet, for two days, on the anniversary of the military coup that ousted the longtime leader and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.
The blackout was the second such suspension in two months, after a similar one in November.
In May, the government announced a three month ban on media outlets and social media, which it said was in response to a petition signed by more than 2 million people calling for a “free press.”
The government has also imposed a two-year ban on all social media and other forms of media, as well as restrictions on travel and media access.
The country has been hit by two weeks of deadly protests against Morsi’s overthrow.
The protests have spread across the country and the world, with hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating and calling for Morsi’s return.