Germany on Monday slammed the Egyptian government for a police raid on the offices of the country's last major independent media outlet and the brief detention of several journalists, reports Anadolu Agency.
Speaking at a routine news conference in Berlin, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr said:
The arrest and storming of the editorial offices of Mada Masr, the way it has seemingly taken place over the weekend, represents in our view a further and indeed very worrying deterioration of press freedom in Egypt. We are now relieved that the four arrested journalists of this reputed Egyptian online newspaper have been released yesterday.
Mada Masr said in a tweet on Sunday that plainclothes security officers raided their Cairo office and confiscated the staff laptops and phones. They also arrested four journalists including the editor.
Adebahr stressed that the security clampdown against Egyptian as well as foreign media representatives in that country and the blocking of the website of Mada Masr and about 500 other websites in Egypt took place for "no apparent reason."
The German official went on to say that Berlin has repeatedly "expressed concern on the situation of press freedom in Egypt, most recently also during the review process of the human UN rights council in Geneva two weeks ago".
The Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said Egypt was "one of the world's biggest prisons for journalists".