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Court reverses decision to ban MP Tawfiq Okasha from media
Tawfiq Okasha
 

Cairo administrative court revoked a decision to ban controversial media personality and member of parliament Tawfiq Okasha from media appearances.

The Media Free Zone pulled Okasha’s show Misr al-Youm (Egypt Today), on the privately owned Al-Faraeen channel, and banned him from media appearances for three months, after he gave an interview on ONtv criticizing security agencies and claiming he was the target of harassment in late December.

The court revoked this decision after Okasha filed a lawsuit appealing it, the privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper reported.

In his interview with ONtv, Okasha said he would resign from his seat in parliament and seek asylum in Germany, after facing harassment from national security and intelligence services. He linked his arrest and brief detention in August over outstanding lawsuits to remarks that he posted on Facebook that were critical of the Interior Ministry.

“I was arrested like a terrorist over a nonsense case that was dropped,” he said.

Okasha said he was surprised by the decision to ban his show, which has previously been supportive of the state and critical of the January 25 revolution, although he added that his relationship with state security agencies has soured since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

He criticized what he called “a security mentality,” which he asserted is “uncreative and incapable of development.”

Okasha has added drama to the early days of Egypt’s new parliament. He objected to having to acknowledge the January 25 revolution when he was sworn into office, and faced widespread ridicule on social media.

This is not the first time he has been taken off air. In 2012, Okasha’s show was briefly banned and he faced charges of insulting Morsi. 

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