Egypt's journalist union accuses government of violating press freedoms


The Journalists' Syndicate says dozens of press workers were unlawfully arrested during attempts to suppress protests on Monday

A man kicks a tear gas canister away during anti-government protests in Egypt on Monday (AFP)
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Last update: 
Thursday 28 April 2016 16:19 UTC

Dozens of Egyptian journalists marched from their union headquarters in Cairo on Thursday to deliver a formal complaint to government officials over alleged violations of press freedoms during protests on Monday.

The complaint was written by the leadership council of the Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate, the oldest labour union in the country, and addressed directly to Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar and Khaled Abdel Aal, head of security forces in the capital. 

The union accuses Egyptian security forces, overseen by the Interior Ministry, of illegally detaining people ahead of and during protests on Monday.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 33 journalists were arrested during nationwide security raids aiming to prevent the planned protests against Egypt's decision to give two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. 

In a six-page complaint, the union also accuses the security forces of detaining journalists inside their syndicate building during protests on Monday, and preventing those outside from entering. 

The journalists say the police allowed supporters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to attack the union headquarters, and protected them during the attack on Monday.

Before setting out on a march to the High Court building on Thursday, a group of press photographers stood on the syndicate's front steps holding up their cameras.