By Aya Nader
The police arrested a radio reporter Friday during his coverage of clashes between security forces and the Muslim Brotherhood members in Haram.
Husseini Sobhi , who reports for Radio Horytna (Our Freedom), was arrested after filming the burning of a Al-Tahrir TV channel car. He has been charged with being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, considered a terrorist organisation by the interim government since 25 Decemebr, and destroying public facilities. Radio Horytna’s editor said the reporter was arrested “for having a beard”.
The radio administration sent a copy of their official mandate that permits him to work as a journalist, as well as his press ID, but the reporter was still detained.
The prosecution is waiting for Homeland Security, formerly known as state security, to investigate.
The Ministry of Interior media office said reporters should have a filming permit.
Media watchdog organisation Journalists Against Torture challenged the statement.
“Since when do we [journalists] need a permit, as long as we have a newspaper mandate,” said Ashraf Abbas, coordinator at the nonprofit. “It is my right as a citizen, not just as a journalist [to film].”
Abbas said there is no law that states that a journalist should have such a permit.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in its annual report released 30 December, rated Egypt the third most dangerous county in the world for journalists, following Syria and Iraq, with 12 journalists killed during 2013. Since the report was released, several other journalists have been detained.
In 2013, Egypt was also one of the top ten jailors of journalists in the world, according to the CPJ census of imprisoned journalists.