11 Egyptian newspapers stop publication to protest over charter

Eleven privately-owned newspapers stopped publication Tuesday in protest against the limits on freedom of expression in Egypt's draft constitution, and at least three private television networks said they would not broadcast Wednesday.

The dramatic gesture added to tensions over the new charter just as liberal and secular foes of the Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, prepare what they call a "final warning" march on the presidential palace to oppose it.

"You are reading this message because Egypt Independent objects to continued restrictions on media liberties, especially after hundreds of Egyptians gave their lives for freedom and dignity," declared a short statement set against a black background on the website of Egypt Independent, the English-language sister publication of the largest independent daily, Al Masry Al Youm, on Tuesday morning.

The one-day blackout was the sharpest strike yet in a new push by liberal and secular groups to defeat the draft charter.

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