Security forces arrest journalist, ban others from reaching press syndicate

Monday 25-04-2016 01:57 PM

Egyptian activists shout anti-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and government slogans during a demonstration protesting against the government's decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt, April

CAIRO, Apr 25 (Aswat Masriya) - Egyptian security forces arrested a journalist in Tahrir Square and prevented others from reaching the headquarters of the press syndicate on Monday, a few hours before planned protests against the Egyptian-Saudi demarcation agreement.

Board member of the press syndicate Osama Dawood said that security forces arrested Basma Mostafa who works at Dotmsr news website while passing by Tahrir Square and heading to work in Garden City.

Dawood told Aswat masriya that the syndicate is in contact with the interior ministry to release Mostafa and find out the reasons behind her arrest.

Security forces have blocked the roads leading up to the press syndicate in downtown Cairo and prevented the entry of pedestrians ahead of protests which are expected to take place there.

Former press syndicate board member Mohamed Abdel Qodous said he was prevented from entering the syndicate for "security reasons".

Abdel Qodous added that "this is the first time journalists are prevented from entering the syndicate in this manner".

An eye witness told Aswat Masriya that security banned anyone from entering the area of the press syndicate but allowed the passage of government supporters.

Supporters of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi were seen chanting "the police and the people and the army are one hand".

Thousands of people gathered in front of the press syndicate on Apr. 15 under the slogan "Friday of the Land" to voice their objection to the aforementioned agreement which stipulates that Egypt will hand over control over two Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia.

The agreement has stirred widespread controversy. Critics argue that the two islands are Egyptian, and accuse Sisi of "selling Egypt" to Saudi Arabia in return for Saudi aid.

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

But days prior to Apr. 25, a security campaign was launched sweeping some cafes in Downtown Cairo and resulting in the arrest of at least 40 people, an interior ministry source said on Friday.

Most of those arrested were later released, added the source.

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