By Fatma Khaled
An Al-Ahram reporter was killed in Beheira on Monday after soldiers opened fire on his vehicle as it refused to stop at a checkpoint after curfew.
Tamer Abdelrauf had been driving at a high speed with Hamed Al-Barbary a reporter from Al-Gomhoria newspaper, and broke the checkpoint where he was shot and consequently lost control of his vehicle which crashed in to a lamppost.
The armed forces released a statement following the incident saying that Abdelrauf had also ignored warning signs and repetitive calls from officers to stop his car. This prompted officers to respond by firing on the vehicle’s tires.
The statement read that Abdelrauf had failed to pull over at the checkpoint for officers to identify him, leading soldiers to treat it as a case of “breaking of curfew”.
“Abdelrauf could have passed the checkpoint without any issue because journalists are exempted from curfew, but instead his behavior disturbed the officers, which urged them to take immediate action against him,” said an army source.
The statement added that in firing on the vehicle, the officers had “no intention to kill Abdelrauf”, citing his partner’s minor injuries.
The armed forces stated that both victims have been transferred to Demenhor’s public hospital and added that authorities are investigating the incident.
The statement also urged citizens to abide by curfew in order to enable security to differentiate between citizens and criminals.
Four reporters were reported dead earlier on Wednesday while covering violence across the country. In response, the Committee to Protect Journalists has urged authorities to issue clear orders to security forces that respects the right of journalists to “work freely and safely” in their released statement.
Al-Ahram did not respond to requests for comments.