Egypt media head to justify gag order on hospital coverage

CAIRO — Egyptian prosecutors have ordered the country's top media regulator to be summoned for questioning over his decision to issue a gag order on corruption allegations made against a children's cancer hospital.

In a Saturday statement, the chief public prosecutor said the decision by Makram Mohammed Ahmed, head of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, constituted an "infringement" on judicial and executive authorities. He said the gag order is null and nonbinding.

Earlier, Ahmed told local media that his decision was meant to preserve the hospital's reputation pending the completion of a probe into the corruption allegations.

Summoning Ahmed for questioning is a highly unusual step given the seniority of his position and that he was hand-picked for the job by the president.

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