Dutch journalists evacuated from hotel in Cairo

4th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch embassy in Cairo has evacuated five Dutch journalists who were practically under siege in the Hilton Ramses hotel at around midnight last night.

The foreign ministry says the journalists have been taken to a hotel a few hundred metres away on the other side of the Nile, where they are much safer.

Outside the Ramses hotel next to the Tahrir Square a crowd of Mubarak supporters had gathered and were threatening the journalists.

In spite of requests, the Egyptian army did not help evacuate the journalists. In the end, embassy staff managed to get the correspondents out of the hotel and took them to safety in two jeeps. The crowd had calmed down by the time the evacuation took place.

Earlier a journalist from the Belgian-Dutch GPD press agency ran into a group of Mubarak supporters carrying machetes and sticks while in a taxi with an Arab colleague. The Mubarak supporters dragged him from his car, made stabbing gestures and simulated cutting their throats. The journalists managed to get away after soldier intervened.

A Dutch public television NOS cameraman was held for several hours after landing at Cairo airport at two o'clock on Thursday morning. He was released at eight in the evening after being driven around in a van and threatened.

The Dutch Union of Journalists advises against travelling to Cairo as the situation is very risky.

Together with the World Editors Forum WEF and the foreign ministry, GPD editor-in-chief, Marcel van Lingen is trying to put pressure on the Egyptian government to protect foreign journalists. nc



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