Dostour itself has had a turbulent recent history. Once seen as a staunch opposition newspaper, it was purchased by El-Sayed El-Badawi, a businessman who leads the liberal opposition Al-Wafd Party. El-Badawi clashed with the newspaper’s outspoken chief editor, Ibrahim Eissa, ultimately sacking him.
After firing Eissa,Dostour’s editorial line shifted away from its previous anti-regime stance, and after the 2011 uprising, the newspaper’s former leadership started a new newspaper called Tahrir, which was one of the papers that joined the blank-columns protest last week.
Reached by phone on Sunday, Ibrahim Mansour, Tahrir’s executive editor and a former editor at Dostour, reiterated that Dostour had transformed into a completely different paper since he and Eissa left, but that he nevertheless unequivocally opposed the decision to the confiscate the editions.
He said taken together, the state media appointments and the censoring of Dostour amounted to “a continuation of the policies of the Mubarak regime.”