N. Sinai journalists' union blasts arrest of reporters

"The current situation of the Egyptian press cannot be accepted by any honest or free person," the association statement, a copy of which was sent to Anadolu Agency, read.

N. Sinai journalists' union blasts arrest of reporters

World Bulletin/News Desk

The North Sinai Journalists and Correspondents Association on Monday condemned the recent detention of a journalist and a photojournalist from private Arabic-language daily Al-Shorouk while the two were covering events in the city of Al-Arish.

In a statement, the journalists' association, a non-governmental organization, said that journalist Azza Mughari and photojournalist Sabri Khalid – both of whom work for Al-Shorouk newspaper – had been detained by authorities before being released.

"The current situation of the Egyptian press cannot be accepted by any honest or free person," the association statement, a copy of which was sent to Anadolu Agency, read.

The statement also referred to Ahmed Abu Draa, a correspondent for Arabic-language daily Al-Masri al-Youm, who was detained earlier this month and accused of publishing "misleading news" about the Egyptian armed forces.

Immediately before his arrest, Abu Draa had posted comments on Facebook critical of ongoing military operations targeting "militants" said to be based in the Sinai Peninsula.

"Military sources and the media are publishing inaccurate information regarding the death toll from the Apache [helicopter gunship] bombings of the two North Sinai villages of Al-Touma and Al-Muqatta," Abu Draa had written on the social-media platform.

The North Sinai journalists' association called on reporters and photojournalists to "defend their freedoms," both in order to retain their journalistic rights and bring transgressors to account.

Abu Draa, along with scores of others, has since been referred to a military tribunal to answer the charges against him, provoking the ire of many North Sinai locals.

The army, however, claims they are being tried for crimes "related to the Egyptian Armed Forces."

Article 198 of Egypt's 2012 constitution, which was suspended following the military's July 3 ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi, had banned the practice of trying civilians in military courts except in the case of crimes found to have "caused harm" to the armed forces.

 

Last Mod: 23 Eylül 2013, 22:05
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