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Egyptian journalist El-Beheery released on bail

Kareem El-Beheery of El-Badil has been in detention since January after an arrest while covering demonstrations on the third anniversary of the revolution

Ahram Online, Monday 3 Mar 2014
Egyptian journalists El-Beheery
Egyptian journalists Kareem El-Beheery (Photo: Facebook)

Well-known Egyptian journalist and leftist activist Kareem El-Beheery was released on bail on Monday after more than a month in detention.

El-Beheery's lawyer, Karim Abdel-Rady, tweeted on Monday that El-Beheery and 12 other detainees, including minors, were released on LE1000 bail each.

El-Beheery, a journalist with Al-Badil news website, was arrested on 25 January while covering protests for his employer in front of a police station in the western Cairo suburb of 6 October City as part of demonstrations marking the third anniversary of the January 2011 uprising.

He was accused of inciting riots, protesting and possessing Molotov cocktails, and given back-to-back 15-day detention spells in prison pending investigations.

According to a statement issued earlier by El-Beheery, the journalist had showed his ID to officers but failed to convince them that he was on duty as a reporter.

El-Beheery has since accused security forces of physically assaulting him at the police station when he refused to be photographed next to an assortment of weapons.

According to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), El-Beheery and other detainees were forced to strip off their clothes and were later interrogated while blindfolded.

Also on Monday, the ANHRI reported that 24 other detainees arrested on 25 January were given 15-days detention pending investigation on charges of illegal protesting, possessing weapons and explosives, as well as joining a banded group, a reference to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

At least 1,079 of what the interior ministry has described as "rioters" and "Muslim Brotherhood members" were arrested on 25 January, according to reports from the ministry.

The recent clampdown by authorities on journalists working in Egypt has drawn criticism from human rights organisations and press-freedom advocates.

In January, 20 Al-Jazeera journalists – 16 Egyptians and four foreigners – were arrested in Cairo and referred to a criminal court.

The 16 Egyptian defendants face charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation, while the four foreigners are accused of aiding a terrorist group and spreading false news.

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