Egypt | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Vaguely worded statutes in the Press Law, the Publications Law, the penal code, and libel laws restrict press freedom. Direct criticism of the president, his family, or the military, as well as criticism of foreign heads of state, can result in imprisonment and the closure of publications. The government owns and operates most television and radio stations. However, control over the broadcast media was slightly diminished this year as Al-Mihwar, the country's first independent television channel, began broadcasting. Three major dailies are owned in part by the state, and the president appoints their editor. The Internet is widely available, and the government does not significantly monitor or censor content. Although there are a number of privately owned print media outlets, the government exercises indirect control over them through its monopoly on printing and distribution.