IPI Alarmed Over Journalist Attacks in Egypt
As Clashes Continue, IPI Calls for Journalist Safety
By: Naomi Hunt, Press Freedom Adviser
VIENNA, 21 Nov. 2011 – Several journalists were attacked and injured during the military crackdown on anti-military protestors in Egyptian cities this weekend, according to news reports.
“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces should ensure that Egyptian soldiers stop harming or detaining journalists covering the anti-military protests,” said IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie. “As clashes reportedly continue, it is fundamental that journalists be allowed to do their jobs and report on events without fear of attacks.”
Culture Minister Emad Abou Ghazi reportedly resigned on Monday in protest over military brutality. Reuters quoted morgue officials as saying at least 33 had died from their wounds since violence erupted in Cairo on Saturday.
On Saturday, the Egyptian Syndicate of Journalists reportedly said that two journalists had been detained by military police, while a further ten had been injured, Bikya Masr reported online. Other journalists had their equipment confiscated or broken, or had photos deleted.
Ahram Online reported that its reporter, Ahmed Feteha, “was robbed and beaten twice while covering a standoff between protesters and police in downtown Cairo”.
Al Masry Al Youm video journalist Ahmed Abdel Fattah was hit in the eye with a rubber bullet while covering clashes near Tahrir Square on Saturday, the newspaper reported on its English language website. He is recovering.
Further, the Egyptian Syndicate of Journalists condemned attacks in Alexandria against journalists from five media houses including the newspapers El-Akhbar, El-Shorouk, El-Tahrir and the MENA news agency, Ahram Online reported. The syndicate reportedly said that “one journalist was detained, forced to strip, blindfolded, and then beaten with a wooden stick for five hours. He was also verbally abused and robbed of money.”