The independent local watchdog Journalists Against Torture Observatory (JATO) stated that there have been 173 cases of journalists being accused of defamation from 3 July 2013 to 30 August 2016, in a statistical report issued Monday on defamation cases involving Egyptian journalists.
Among the cases, 107 were against print newspapers, 63 against satellite channels, and three against news websites. Most of the media outlets involved are privately owned.
The complaints further involved 44 editors-in-chief, 57 journalists, 46 TV hosts, 14 media outlet owners, while the rest included administrative employees.
As for the nature of those who filed the complaints, JATO stated that the majority came from politicians (71), followed by employees in judicial or monitoring bodies (34), and employees of the government (17), as well as other public figures and citizens.
As for verdicts, there were nine imprisonment verdicts and 25 fines for conviction. Only 34 were acquitted. Moreover, 25 cases were investigated by prosecution authorities without referral to trial, 21 were referred to misdemeanour courts without conclusion, and 27 were referred to criminal courts.
JATO has been monitoring the degradation of press freedom conditions in Egypt, including journalist detentions, arrests, and assaults among other violations such as censorship and security pursuit.