Egypt "killing" news: media watchdog

4th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontieres, RSF) on Friday condemned attacks on journalists covering the unrest in Egypt in a demonstration outside the Egyptian embassy.

Dozens of activists rallied outside the embassy chanting: "The news is being killed" before plastering photos of journalists who have been beaten over the past few days on the face of the building.

"We have come to the Egyptian embassy to denounce the campaign of hate and violence against the international media in Egypt," said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-Francois Julliard.

"The photos of journalists who have been injured, beaten, roughed up and arrested testify to an alarming situation of constant harassment designed to stifle news coverage and rid Cairo of the journalists," he added.

"After censoring the Internet for several days, the authorities are now targeting journalists physically. This is unacceptable and must stop at once."

Arrests and violent assaults on foreign news media in Cairo intensified this week as Mubarak rejected protesters' demands to immediately stand down after three decades in power.

Journalists reporting on the fierce clashes that took place in Cairo on Wednesday and Thursday said Mubarak supporters had turned on them following a campaign by state-run and state-linked media accusing them of being spies.

Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arab satellite television channel banned since last weekend from operating in the country, said Friday its office in Cairo was burned alongside its equipment.

Three French reporters from private broadcaster TF1 also said they had been blindfolded and interrogated for 15 hours before being released. Another Swedish journalist was in hospital recovering from stab wounds.

© 2011 AFP

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