The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press condemns the detention and harassment of journalists by Egyptian forces, and calls upon President Hosni Mubarak to allow unfettered reporting on the unfolding events in Cairo.
“The situation in Egypt is obviously volatile and could escalate into all-out chaos,” said Reporters Committee Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish. “Comprehensive coverage of these events by the world’s independent media witnesses may be the only chance Egypt has for a peaceful transfer of power. The Egyptian government must release all journalists in custody and allow the dissemination of information about the ongoing strife in Egypt.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists is cataloging the reports of journalists being arrested, assaulted and detained, including at least 50 such incidents that occurred by Thursday. The New York Times also reported that two of its journalists were arrested, and plainclothes police officers have been shutting down news operations around the city. The Washington Post has reported that four of its employees — two journalists, an interpreter and a driver — were detained, although the two journalists have already been released.
The Reporters Committee regularly files friend-of-the-court briefs and its attorneys represent journalists and news organizations pro bono in court cases that involve First Amendment freedoms, the newsgathering rights of journalists and access to public information. Stay up-to-date on our work by signing up for our monthly newsletter and following us on Twitter or Instagram.