In a detailed statement issued on Sunday, Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) accused the British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) of “promoting the lies of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group” in an “inflammatory article” published on the BBC’s Arabic-language website.
The SIS has accused the BBC of “literally turning themselves into a propaganda tool of media outlets directly affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood,” and has summoned the head of the BBC’s Cairo office over the article, which is titled ‘#Rest_assured_you_are_not_alone campaign renews calls for protests against Sisi’.
“The Brotherhood are considered a terrorist organisation by Egypt and several countries including the United Kingdom… which officially classified Hasm and Lewaa Al-Thawra – two organisations affiliated with the Brotherhood – as terrorist groups,” the SIS said.
The SIS slammed the article for describing a call for protests on Twitter by a pro-Brotherhood TV presenter as a “campaign,” adding that this call has not gained any traction in Egypt.
The SIS said that the article propagated false reports by posting videos from Brotherhood-affiliated media that purports to show anti-government protests in several Egyptian governorates.
The statement also rejected the article’s caveat that the authenticity of the videos had not been verified by the BBC.
“This violates universal professional codes of conduct, as the BBC’s Cairo office with its dozens of correspondents nationwide should have tried to actually investigate whether the content of these videos was authentic,” the SIS stated.
“The BBC’s failure to take this necessary step before publishing the article seems intentional in order to legitimise the allegations of media outlets affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood — a terrorist organisation,” the statement said, adding that not a single foreign correspondent from any other news outlet reported on any such protests in Egypt.
“It seems the Brotherhood are the only ones who witnessed [these protests] and the BBC is the only accredited foreign media outlet that has promoted them,” the SIS said.
The statement also slammed the article for failing to include any comments from Egyptian officials about the matter.
The SIS said that the BBC should immediately give a formal apology for the article, and called on “all Egyptian officials and the intelligentsia to boycott the BBC and refrain from giving any interviews or statements to its correspondents until it formally apologises… and takes the necessary administrative and professional measures to undo the violations it has committed.”