Police forces assaulted and briefly detained two photojournalists from private newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm on Sunday night, as they were covering protests in Abdel Moneim Riyadh Square, according to the newspaper’s website.
Mohamed Kamal and Hazem Abdel Hamid were taking pictures from the 6October Bridge, which overlooks Abdel Moneim Riyadh Square as well as the entrance to Tahrir Square, when they were surrounded and beaten by a group of police conscripts.
Ali El-Sayed, Al-Masry Al-Youm’s Editor in Chief, said that “the two photojournalists were arrested randomly by the police”. He added that the newspaper contacted the Ministry of Interior and managed to secure their release, after a police officer checked their press credentials.
The newspaper’s website posted a picture of one of the two photojournalists, Mohamed Kamal, showing signs of eye injury allegedly incurred during the police beating.
Journalists Against Torture, a group that monitors violations against reporters, stated Sunday that another two journalists, from Al-Youm Al-Sabaa and Al-Wafd newspapers respectively, were also assaulted by police forces, even after they showed their press cards.
The group added that another journalist from Dar News website was detained Sunday night in Abdeen police station, referred to the prosecution, and then released. He was also covering protests at Abdel Moneim Riyadh Square.
Thirty-four people were arrested from the square on Sunday evening, after security forces intervened to break up small groups of protesters, according to the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre.
The centre stated that most of the detainees were released shortly thereafter. However, the centre added that “a number of the detainees had signs of torture on their bodies and were not able to walk”.
Abdel Moneim Riad Square has witnessed anti-Mubarak and anti-government demonstrations, following the dismissal of former president Hosni Mubarak on Saturday morning.
Thousands gathered in the square adjacent to Tahrir on Saturday evening to protest against the verdict. The violent dispersal of those demonstrations left two people dead.
Gamal Abdel Nasser metro station, not far from Tahrir Square, was reopened on Sunday night, with the station now operating normally, state media reported. The station had been closed Sunday to prevent protesters from reaching the area, while Tahrir Square itself was closed by the armed forces hours after the Mubarak verdict, in an effort to prevent demonstrations.
Tahrir Square was closed to car traffic on Sunday but limited pedestrian access was allowed. The square reopened to car traffic early on Monday.