Friday, December 16, 2011

The Springborg Affair: The Army, a New Newspaper, and a Censorship Debacle

It began on Monday, December 5th, when English newspaper readers in Cairo learned that a new paper, the Egypt Independent, had disappeared from newsstands. They learned about the disappearance from the British press, in an article by Alistair Beach of The Independent (no relation to the Egyptian paper). "A censorship row has broken out at the country's newest newspaper after staff were ordered to shelve an entire print run of 20,000 copies," Beach wrote, "over an article that suggested the leader of the governing Military Council could go to prison."
In the censored article, political science professor Robert Springborg had suggested that "resentment" might be growing in the ranks of the military against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and Egypt's current de-facto leader Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi. An edited version of the article can be read on Egypt Independent's website. Instead of the word "resentment" it used the somehow less toxic "concern," and excised the offending paragraph...

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