Egypt's press syndicate condemns 'indiscriminate arrests' of journalists

Saturday 23-04-2016 04:16 PM

Protest in solidarity with detainees on March 6 2010 (ASWAT MASRIYA/ ASMAA GAMAL)

CAIRO, Apr 23 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's press syndicate condemned on Saturday "the indiscriminate arrests" of some journalists and the raids of their homes at dawn without legal support.

At least 40 people were arrested in a security campaign launched Thursday night targeting downtown Cairo. Most of those arrested were released later, 14 people are still being interrogated, said a security source in the interior ministry.

The arrests come  ahead of protests planned for Apr. 25 against the recently signed Egyptian-Saudi agreement of the demarcation of borders.

In a statement, the syndicate referred to the arrests saying it requires a serious stand to stop the "violations" against Egyptians in general.

The syndicate demanded an immediate investigation in recent incidents of "indiscriminate arrests" which resulted in the arrest of some journalists from one of the cafes and  raiding the houses of two others at dawn.

It further urged authorities to reveal the real reasons behind the arrests as "it will be unacceptable in any way to intimidate journalists and their families for exercising their profession," read the statement.

On Apr. 15, thousands of protesters gathered in front of the press syndicate under the slogan "Friday of the Land" to protest against the aforementioned agreement.

The agreement, which is yet to be ratified by the parliament, stipulates that Egypt will hand control over two Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia.

Protesters ended the demonstration then but said they will resume protesting on Apr. 25, which coincides with Sinai Liberation Day.

The press syndicate stressed the importance of freedoms and reiterated its demands for the release of detained journalists in cases related to publishing and expressing their opinion.

It further urged authorities to stop "violations" against syndicate members.

Egypt ranked 158 out of 180 countries in the 2015 Press Freedom Index issued by Reporters Without Borders.

Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in December that Egypt is second only to China as the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2015.

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