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Journalist harassed and intimidated by police officers in Cairo after article on curruption

Police officers have led organised attacks against Alaa Al Gamel, a reporter for weekly Sout Al Ouma, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has reported. Security forces repeatedly stormed his house in Giza between June 30 and July 11. Between July 10 and 11, they broke into his house six times. Moreover, the perpetrators spread rumors in Alaa's neighbourhood that the journalist is wanted for committing a crime.

Speaking to ANHRI, Alaa said, "this blatant police attack started after my press campaign against extending service for some high-ranking individuals and relocating generals (minister assistants) and other officers who have a proven record of blunders." Recently, the journalist published a report entitled "Police Generals Promoted to 'Criminals' Rank.'"

Not only did the police officers intimidate and pursue this bold reporter, they targetted his family as well. Over 30 security service vehicles surrounded his house in the village in Assiout claiming they were carrying out a search for hidden weapons. The officers then spread another lie, claiming that Alaa was wanted for assaulting a police officer in Cairo.

ANHRI condemned the minister of interior for allowing his officers to smear the reputation of this reporter who just did his work and wrote about some issues at the ministry. ANHRI urged the minister to specify if Alaa was facing any legal action. Otherwise the minister should ensure that his officers cease harassing the journalist at once.

ANHRI condemned the security forces' bullying of reporters who reveal information to the public. It held the minister of interior responsible for the safety of Alaa and for any harm done to him by police officers.

Date posted: July 17, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 352