Last Update 21:32
Sunday, 20 January 2019

Le Monde diplomatique editor talks politics in Cairo cafe, briefly detained by police

Woman overhead conversation, ran outside and got the police, says French-Egyptian editor Alain Gresh

Mohammed Saad , Tuesday 11 Nov 2014
Alain Gresh
Alain Gresh (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 4241
Share/Bookmark
Views: 4241

The French-Egyptian journalist Alain Gresh, chief editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, says he was interrogated by police in downtown Cairo on Tuesday after a patron in a cafe heard him speaking about politics with two other reporters.

Gresh told Ahram Online that he was in a cafe near the British embassy in the Garden City district with two Egyptian female journalists, discussing Egypt's current political situation, when a lady at the next table screamed at them: "You want to destroy the country."

She then went outside and spoke with police officers, who stopped Gresh and his colleagues when they were leaving and asked for his ID and passport, said the editor.

The area by the British embassy is heavily patrolled with security forces, as the US embassy is also down the street.

Gresh says he and the two journalists were detained in the street for an hour-and-a-half, while Gresh had to answer many questions, such as where he lived in Egypt. He says he contacted both the French embassy in Cairo and the head of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate Diaa Rashwan, who used his government contacts to make sure all three persons were released.

Gresh says the interior ministry invited him at 6pm to meet the minister's assistant for human rights, who apologised to the editor for the "misunderstanding."

He told Ahram Online that the security forces were polite with him and the two other journalists – but that the incident was a bad sign of things to come.

"What is alarming about this is not that we were stopped by the police, but that a civilian woman went mad at us and reported us to the police because of a conversation about politics. That's what is alarming," he said.
 

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
1



Jamal Osiris
12-11-2014 12:15am
14-
24+
Enough
Quite foolish that this incident took place at all. People naturally talk about politics and have a right to do so, deal with it. If you hate freedom of speech, resign your unelected office and leave the country. Don't try to cram your political viewpoints down other people's throats by suppressing political discussions and conversations.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.