Attacks on media workers in Egypt

4th February, 2011

photo (C) Jess Hurd

The London Photographers’ Branch Committee (LPBC) resolutely condemns the recent and continuing arrests and violent attacks on journalists by various Egyptian security forces, while they’ve been reporting unfolding events in various Egyptian cities and towns.

Many journalists, attempting to simply do their job, have been threatened, beaten and arrested. London Photographers’ Branch members Jess Hurd and Jason Parkinson were covering the Day of Rage when they were attacked by the Egyptian secret police.

Jess Hurd reports: “I was grabbed round the throat and Jason was wrestled to the ground, we were frog-marched through police lines where protesters were being roughed up. I had my IFJ card out and we repeatedly said we were press, fearing a blindfolded trip to the desert. The uniformed officer took our memory cards from our cameras and told us to leave.”

“One colleague, yesterday, reported being told that he was going to be shot if he stayed in his hotel on the Square, he left and was beaten by a mob when he tried to get a taxi. He was arrested by the army and held for 6 hours where a gang in plain clothes with machine guns staged ‘mock executions’. He has now been released but there are many other accounts of threats, attacks and arrests”

We call upon the Egyptian authorities to immediately halt these continuing attacks and to respect working journalists and other media workers. Their role as neutral observers and news gatherers must be respected and they must be allowed to work without intimidation, arrest, attack or harassment as they report events.

Note: You can hear Jess talk about her experiences on BBC Radio Scotland at http://bbc.in/i7pbXE (from approx 16 mins in)

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