• April 16, 2016
  • 3 minutes read

Rights Group: Coup Security Forces Assault, Detain Journalists During Friday Protest Coverage

Rights Group: Coup Security Forces Assault, Detain Journalists During Friday Protest Coverage
The Arab Observatory for Media Freedom’s Field Follow-Up team affirmed that a number of reporters and photographers suffered serious assault at the hands of coup security forces while covering demonstrations in Cairo and other governorates Friday.

In fact, according to our field documentation team, some journalists were temporarily detained, while some were arrested and hauled away, as they did their professional duty as media workers covering the mass demonstrations on Friday across the country. Police forces also prevented journalists and photographers from getting anywhere near Tahrir Square, the flash point, where the January 2011 Revolution that ousted Mubarak was first sparked.

Our team was able to documents several cases of reporters and photographers who suffered vicious attacks by coup forces. Those include: Fouad Hussein, Almasry Alyawm photographer; as well as Mustafa Hassan and Rania Helmi, who work for Masr Al-Arabiya website. The police took away Rania’s camera.

Coup security forces also detained Tarek Wageeh, Almasry Alyawm photographer, in front of Istiqama Mosque in Giza. Bakr Al-Sharqawi, ONA News Agency photographer, was also detained, but later released.

Also, security forces arrested Ahmed Baraa, Alyawm Al-Sabea newspaper journalist, while covering Mustafa Mahmoud Square demonstration.

Moreover, cameraman Ali Fahim was injured while taking part in the coverage of demonstrations in Giza Square. Civilian-looking men accompanying police forces in Port Said attacked and assaulted a number of journalists, preventing them from filming. Furthermore, some journalists in Alexandria were also brutally attacked. The police had detained Thursday Haitham Al-Sharkawi, Masr newspaper editor, in Qasr Al-Nil.

This systematic persecution and deliberate attacks on reporters and photographers reflect a reprehensible state of hostility against the press and the media at large, and the desire to hide information and deprive people of independent coverage.

The Egyptian Journalists Syndicate announced Friday it welcomed journalists who were covering protest events, setting up an emergency room to receive their complaints.