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Reporters attacked covering first anniversary of Cairo protest killings

SmokescreenSupporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi stand behind smoke from burning debris set fire during clashes with security forces on a street in the Matariya neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt, August 15.Photo: Ahmed Abdel Fattah / El Shorouk

Several journalists have been attacked and briefly detained in Egypt since Thursday while covering deadly clashes between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and security forces, according to news reports.

At least seven have been killed in the clashes that began on Thursday when supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi called for a commemoration of the first anniversary of the security forces' brutal dispersal of Muslim Brotherhood supporters from Rabaa Al-Adawiya square. The raid left hundreds dead, including three journalists.

"It is disheartening to see journalists continue to be assaulted on the anniversary of the deadliest day for journalists in Egypt," said Sherif Mansour, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator. "All sides must stop attacking and detaining journalists and allow them to cover the news."

Yahya Khalaf, executive director of the online news network Yaqeen, which is supportive of Morsi, sustained minor injuries in the feet and back after being hit with birdshot while he was photographing clashes in Faisal neighborhood of the city of Giza, according to news reports and the local press freedom group Journalists Against Torture.

Police today briefly detained Mohamed Abul Fadl and Ahmed Nasser, correspondents for the local news website Egypt News Network, along with Mustafa al-Sayed, photographer for the local news website Al-Youm al-Saba'a, according to the network and news reports. The two were covering clashes in Giza. Unidentified men in civilian clothes beat Bakr Sharkawi, photographer for the local independent Ona News Agency, and seized his equipment while he was covering clashes in Matareya neighborhood of Cairo, the agency reported.

On Thursday, Mohammed Abdulatif, a photographer for the local news website Masrawy who is also known as Mohammed Bakkar, and Ahmed Mostafa Abdulatif, photographer for the independent daily Al-Shorouk, were beaten by police and pro-government supporters while they were covering clashes in the Maadi neighborhood of Cairo, according to news reports and Journalists against Torture.

Ahmed Abd al-Bar, a lawyer for the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, told CPJ that both photographers were then briefly taken into custody by police. Aza Fedali, a photographer for the independent Al-Masry al-Youm, was beaten by government supporters and had her camera seized while she was photographing the two journalists being attacked, according to news reports.

Also on Thursday, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood beat Ahmed Saad, reporter for the Al-Bawaba news website, in the head and hands while he was covering clashes in Matareya, according to his employer.

Date posted: August 16, 2014 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 11