Notes containing internal instructions for Egypt's Interior Ministry have been leaked to the media.

The documents outline strategies on how to deflect public outrage over recent arrests at the journalists' union headquarters, how to deal with the media in general, and also with the case of an Italian student tortured to death. They came via the ministry's official email address, headlined as a normal news roundup.

One note recommended the ministry not back down in its conflict with the union, and pointed out a need to improve its image. Another suggested the prosecutor general impose a gag order on the investigation of the case of doctoral student Giulio Regeni.

The ministry on Tuesday said it had a "technical malfunction" and would switch to a gmail address.