4 Israeli journalists arrested, then released in Cairo

Israeli engineer detained in Suez; pro-Mubarak supporters unleash fury on media, beat, threaten journalists covering protests.

February 3, 2011 02:35
3 minute read.
Protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square

egypt tahrir square 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak unleashed their fury on the media Wednesday, beating and threatening journalists who were covering fierce battles between pro- and anti-government crowds in central Cairo.

Meanwhile, a young Israeli engineer named Tomer Golan by Channel 1 on Wednesday night was detained in Suez. It was not clear why he was arrested, and the television station said an investigation was under way.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Mubarak supporters suspected to be disguised soldiers
British PM: Egypt's gov't must accelerate political reforms

Four Israeli journalists arrested Wednesday morning in Cairo were released a few hours later following Foreign Ministry intervention.

The four – three members of a Channel 2 team and a journalist for an Israeli-Arab web site – were among a number of reporters from around the world arrested or attacked by mobs in the Egyptian capital’s Tahrir Square.

Two Swedish reporters were held for hours on Wednesday by Egyptian soldiers accusing them of being Mossad spies, the reporters’ employer, the daily newspaper Aftonbladet, reported.

The soldiers reportedly attacked the reporters, spitting in their faces and threatening to kill them.

In addition, CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper and his news crew were roughed up by mobs favoring Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, as were Washington Post reporters.

Cooper was reportedly punched in the head 10 times.

A journalist for Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television reportedly suffered a concussion.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists accused the Egyptian government of orchestrating attacks on reporters in an attempt to deprive the world of independent information about the unrest. The government denied it.

The Egyptian government has used “blanket censorship, intimidation, and today a series of deliberate attacks on journalists carried out by pro-government mobs,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“We strongly condemn these attacks and urge all parties to refrain from violence against journalists, local or foreign, who are simply trying to cover these demonstrations and clashes for the benefit of the public,” Anthony Mills, press freedom manager for Vienna-based International Press Institute, a media watchdog, said in a statement.

“We are particularly concerned at suggestions that the attacks may have been linked to the security services,” he said.

Government spokesman Magdy Rady said the assertion of state involvement in street clashes and attacks on reporters was a “fiction,” and that the government welcomed objective coverage.

“It would help our purpose to have it as transparent as possible. We need your help,” Rady told The Associated Press. However, he said some media were not impartial and were “taking sides against Egypt.”

The US State Department condemned actions against journalists in Egypt on Wednesday.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley tweeted: “We are concerned about detentions and attacks on news media in Egypt. The civil society that Egypt wants to build includes a free press.”

On Sunday, Egyptian authorities ordered the closure of Al-Jazeera’s offices in the country. A statement by Al-Jazeera called Egypt’s decision an act “designed to stifle and repress” open reporting.

On Monday, six Al-Jazeera journalists were arrested, but were released later that day.

Israeli diplomatic officials said that journalists covering the situation in Cairo needed a special journalist visa, and that if they were working there on a regular tourist visa they were liable to be arrested.

Related Content

Palestinians take part in a protest calling on Hamas and Fatah factions to conclude the reconciliati
August 14, 2018
Egypt summons Palestinian groups for Israeli truce, unity talks