By Amira El-Fekki and Menan Khater
Photojournalist Ahmed Ramadan, of privately owned Tahrir newspaper, was officially charged with belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood group following a prosecution investigation on Monday.
Investigation attendee, and freedoms committee head at press syndicate Khaled El-Balshy, told Daily News Egypt the prosecution charged Ramadan of belonging to the Brotherhood, but he will be interrogated on Tuesday to review investigations by national security authorities on this charge.
Ramadan was ordered a release on bail, for EGP 5,000, El-Balshy confirmed Monday afternoon, after he was questioned throughout the days.
The investigation followed an attempt by a fellow journalist from Al-Youm Al-Sabea newspaper during the trial to report him to security forces as a Muslim Brotherhood member, after a personal dispute, according to witnesses.
Ramadan has been detained since Sunday and investigated by prosecution authorities. Further investigations are pending.
Moreover, El-Balshy said ahead of investigations, that Ramadan is facing charges of “impersonating the identity of a journalist,” as El-Balshy was following up with prosecution authorities at the time he gave the statement.
The photojournalist apparently does not carry a membership card of the Press Syndicate, like most journalists who do not enjoy that legal protection. Meanwhile, journalists expressed anger at a reporter from Al-Youm Al-Sabea who allegedly reported her colleague as a Muslim Brotherhood member.
Journalists slammed what they referred to as “a security informant”, and provided claimed proof of the reporter’s close ties to police and security forces.
A group of journalists called for a protest at the Press Syndicate on Monday in response to the arrest of Ramadan and demanding his release, as he was arrested while doing his job.
Several other journalists have been arrested recently on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood; some have been detained without trials.
A report by the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) entitled “The Forbidden Right”, documented 658 violations against journalists, with 258 instances of preventing journalists from performing their duty, the most recurrent violation during that year.
The report further documented 138 cases of physical assault, 118 cases of detention and suspension, 45 cases of confiscating and breaking equipment, and 20 cases of verbal assault.