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“Hundreds of Egyptian journalists objected on Sunday to a pledge by newspaper editors to refrain from publishing reports critical of the government, calling the curb on freedom of expression ‘a victory for terrorism,’ ” The New York Times reports.

The paper continues:

More than 350 journalists signed an online statement responding to the editors. It was a rare instance of public dissent since the military takeover 16 months ago and the first hint of discontent within the news media over its near-unanimous support for the government.

In a statement issued on Oct. 26, top editors from 17 state and private newspapers said they would refrain from publishing criticism of the government to support the fight against militant extremists. They rejected “attempts to doubt state institutions or insult the army or police or judiciary in a way that would reflect negatively on these institutions’ performance.”

The pledge came days after an unusually deadly attack by militants on a military checkpoint, and effectively formalized censorship that was already occurring. “Hypernationalist public sentiment and an escalating crackdown on dissent” had already done much to silence voices of both the secular and Islamist opposition, the Times reported.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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