Egypt’s Ministry of Manpower and Immigration has ordered the closure of the renowned market research and consulting firm Ipsos over an alleged violation of workplace health and safety regulations.
A ministry decree, dated June 20, on shutting down the firm was made public by the North African country’s media late on Saturday and was further confirmed by a ministry official, who requested not to be named, adding that Cairo had not yet carried out the order.
“As of June 20, 2017, Ipsos Egypt for Consulting Services is to be shut down completely for not carrying out a natural disasters assessment and not making a contingency plan to protect the building and employees in case of a disaster,” the decree read.
The France-based global Ipsos carries out research on audience of the Egyptian television networks and provides the advertisers with the results.
Last year, the Egyptian Interior Ministry cautioned citizens against participating in surveys carried out by foreign media organizations, arguing that it was a threat to national security.
A firm’s official in Egypt, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the closure decree on Sunday but said that Ipsos would not comment publicly on the order.
“What I can tell you is we have no work safety violations whatsoever, these are all false claims,” he said.
Pro-government media outlets and talk shows have already accused the firm of sympathizing with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which is perceived by Cairo as a terrorist organization, and having links to foreign spy agencies. It has also been accused of labor law violations and tax evasion. Ipsos, however, strongly denies all the allegations.
It has also been accused of misrepresenting media organizations’ ratings, purportedly showing them to be lower for political reasons. Last month, pro-government lawmakers described Ispsos reports as biased.