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Police visit online news site Masr al-Arabiya’s offices in Dokki

Several reports on Wednesday claimed police forces and investigators stormed the offices of the privately owned Masr Al-Arabiya news website and interrogated staff members.


News surfaced that police confiscated equipment at their offices in Dokki, Giza, but other sources maintained the visit was for routine purposes only.


Yet, Masr al-Arabiya’s website and social media accounts didn’t mention the incident, and journalists, editors and managerial staff from the website couldn’t be reached for comment.


The privately owned ONA News Agency reported that police evacuated Masr al-Arabiya’s offices, while conducting an inspection. However, they also quoted a journalist from the website who claimed this wasn’t the case. The unnamed source asserted that the visit was a routine inspection to search for pirated software and unlicensed equipment, based on a citizen complaint.


Another privately owned news website, Al-Nabaa, reported that Masr al-Arabiya’s chief News Editor Mahmoud al-Naggar denied the offices had been stormed or that any of his colleagues had been detained or harassed.


“It’s just a routine inspection, which is supposed to be conducted in all media institutions,” Naggar said, adding that police were searching the offices for pirated versions of Microsoft Windows, or other counterfeit software.


On its official website, Masr al-Arabiya describes itself as “focusing on Egypt’s affairs, its Arab and Islamic surroundings, whilst siding with the values and principles of the January 25 revolution, along with issues of national independence.”


Unlike many of Egypt’s mainstream media outlets, Masr al-Arabiya has on occasion published material critical of the current government and its policies.