Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has ordered the withdrawal of legal complaints filed by the presidency against journalists, in a move that appeared aimed at fending off accusations of a crackdown on dissent by the Islamist-led authorities.
Morsi withdrew the complaints out of respect for freedom of expression, according to presidential spokesman Ehab Fahmy.
Morsi is under international pressure to work for consensus and stability while Egypt seeks aid from the International Monetary Fund to ease an economic crisis. On Monday his government appeared to be heeding some of the concerns of the liberal and leftist opposition by announcing moves to amend the new constitution.
However, the latest legal move does not apply to complaints filed independently by Morsi loyalists against journalists and media figures.
These include complaints that led to an arrest warrant being issued against the popular satirist Bassem Youssef. He is accused of insulting the president and Islam in a probe that has added to concern inside and outside Egypt about freedom of expression in the post-Hosni Mubarak era.
Voice of America