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Egyptian security forces raid the Al-Jazeera English Bureau in Cairo

February 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

On Sunday, Egyptian security forces arrested the head of Al-Jazeera English’s bureau in Cairo and expelled four journalists, while detaining two more.

The Al-Jazeera network issued a statement stating that Egyptian security forces stormed the headquarters of its English channel in Cairo and confiscated its equipment, including cameras, and arrested the Administrative and Financial Director, Mustafa Hawa.

The assault coincides with the release of a report by the channel’s executive producer Shahabuddin Shaarawi, who has been held for more than two days by the Egyptian security forces. Egyptian authorities had denied that they were holding Shaarawi, and only confirmed his arrest on Sunday before he was finally released.

Expulsion and Detention

Egyptian authorities have deported Al-Jazeera English reporter Wayne Hay, cameraman Adil Bradlow, and producers Russ Finn and Mohammad Baher, after holding them under arrest for six days.

Meanwhile, the authorities continue to imprison Al-Jazeera’s Arabic reporter Abdallah Al-Shami since he was detained on 14th August, as well as the Al-Jazeera Mubasher cameraman Mohamed Badr, who has been detained for more than a month.

The Al-Jazeera network asked the Egyptian authorities to immediately release Mustafa Hawwa, Abdallah Al-Shami and Mohammed Badr and demanded the return of all the channel’s confiscated equipment since 3rd July 2013.

In the statement the network said that these demands reflect wider concerns about the Egyptian authorities’ treatment of media in general and Al-Jazeera network in particular. The statement called upon all institutions and international human rights organisations to take a stand against the media violations and threats that are affecting journalists who are currently working in Egypt.

Reporters Without Borders also condemned the growing hostility against journalists in Egypt, while the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said that the Egyptian security forces are arresting and harassing journalists and media critical of the new authorities, especially Al-Jazeera network journalists.