Cairo journalists protest arrest of photographers

Hala Safwat, Saturday 7 Dec 2013

Protesters gathered in downtown Cairo on Saturday to condemn military trials for civilians and the detention of two colleagues being interrogated by military prosecution for photographing clashes on Friday

Journalists and Photographers protest
Journalists and Photographers protest in front of Journalism Syndicate to reject the arrest of fellow photographers, Saturday 7 Dec 2013 (Photo: Hala Safwat)

Tens gathered in front of the Syndicate of Journalists in downtown Cairo on Saturday to condemn the detainment of two photographers, who had been arrested a day earlier while covering clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and locals in Giza's Zaitoun district.

The photographers, along with two other citizens, were referred to the military prosecution headquarters in Cairo's Nasr City for interrogation, according to founding member of the no-military trials group Mona Seif.

"We are against the detention of Nubi [Mohamed Abdel-Moneim] and military trials," Al-Badil journalist Shaimaa Hamdi, one of the protesters, told Ahram Online. "Journalist are free, and their cameras must be free as well, otherwise we'll be dragged back to the time of Mubarak."

Abdel-Moneim, a photographer at Al-Badil, was reportedly arrested and beaten while his camera was destroyed by security forces during his arrest on Friday.

The other detained photographer is Al-Yaqeen website's Ahmed Hindawi.

"This protest is to confirm our rejection of military trials in all forms. For journalists to be subjected to imprisonment is an indication of the danger of the articles being passed in the constitution," said former editor-in-chief of Al-Badil and member of the journalists syndicate's council Khaled El-Balshi.

Several human rights groups and activists have vehemently objected to article 204 of the amended constitution, approved last Sunday, which allows civilians to be tried in military courts on a conditional basis.

"The assaults against journalists now are the worst in the past three years. The government is using the state of polarization to fight freedoms and that is not acceptable," said El-Balshi, who added that such policies will result in the revival of the former regime, which will cause a revival of the revolution.

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