CAIRO: Eleven media executives were arrested for being involved in an Islamic organization affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Ahmed Ragheb of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, said at a press conference Saturday.
The media executives comprised of both anchors and producers, working for private Egyptian as well as Arab satellite channels such as Iqraa, Al-Sa’aa, Al-Nas and Al-Gamal, Ragheb explained, pointing out that they all work on religious programs.
Ragheb added that there are conflicting stories pertaining to their arrest.
Whereas the detainees claim they were gathered for an interview in the home of Abdel Rahman Al-Ber, a professor of Hadith at Al-Azhar University in Mansoura, security forces allege that the group was holding a Muslim Brotherhood meeting.
Moreover, Ragheb alleged that Al-Nas channel anchor Bilal Abdel Rahman, was tortured by security forces. Unconscious and suffering broken ribs, security officials, he said, had to admit him to Al-Ahli Bank hospital.
“Aly Abdel Rahman, an internet activist, went to the hospital and took photos of Bilal which he published on the internet . a few days later security arrested Aly Abdel Rahman for publishing the photos and he was detained for 15 days, Ragheb said.
The Hisham Mubarak Law Center press conference was held in association with the National Committee to Defend the Prisoners of Conscience to discuss the incident.
In related news, MP Mohsen Rady who is also affiliated with the Brotherhood, held Minister of Information Anas Al-Fikky responsible of the “huge debts incurred by the Egyptian Radio and Television Union to the National Investment Bank that have reached LE 6 billion, Rady said addressing other MPs.
Rady asked Al-Fikky to justify this debt, which he attributes to the large number of employees – 40,000 according to Rady – working for the union as well as the supervisors negligence and the launching of several satellite channels and radio stations that required Union funding.
Rady cited the Lebanese LBC satellite channel, which he said managed to make a profit of almost $250 million although it only employs about 1,000 people.