Journalist considers legal action over ‘harassment’ from minister

A female Egyptian journalist said she is considering legal action against Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud over his response to a question she asked at a news conference, which she considered harassment.

The minister, known for his ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, received harsh criticism on social networking websites, while some demanded his dismissal after a video of the incident has been widely shared.

During a press awards ceremony Saturday, Nada Mohamed, a journalist at Hoqook news website, asked the minister about freedom of expression.

“Where is this freedom, while journalists are being killed and injured everywhere?” Mohamed asked.

“Come and I’ll tell you where it is,” the minister answered with a smile.

He then added, “Those who do not see the freedom of the press in Egypt shall answer the respectable colleague.”

Mohamed told Sky News Arabic that she would not “shut up” over the humiliation she says the minister caused her.

“I’m now considering with a lawyer to take legal action against him,” she said.

Mohamed considered the minister’s response “humiliating,” while many think his choice of words had a sexual connotation.

“I did not expect this response from the minister,” she said. “He has blown up all the ethics of the profession and the etiquettes of dealing with others. His very strange response was disrespectful to the attendees, to the event and to an information minister.”

Hoqook’s managing editor said the institution would start taking legal action Monday, after considering legal ways to respond to the minister.

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