The second phase of parliamentary elections witnessed 60 cases of violation against journalists, according to Journalists against Torture Observatory’s (JATO) report released on Wednesday.
The observatory reported that journalists continued to face violations while covering the second phase of elections that took place in 13 governorates on 22 and 23 November. Reported violations have increased in the second phase as the observatory had reported 44 cases of violations in the first phase.
“This shows that the rates of violation against journalists is in constant increase, despite them not being part of any event, as their job is to report the news,” the report read.
Preventing journalists from covering the elections remained the most repeated violation with 41 cases recorded during both electoral days, compared to 29 cases in the first phase.
The report documented eight cases of brief detentions and five cases of assaults against journalists. Four journalists faced confiscation of their tools, while one journalist was arrested.
Independent newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm’s Sinai correspondent Ahmed Abou Deraa was arrested while covering the elections in one of the schools in the city of Al-Arish, North Sinai. He was released on Tuesday morning from the Military intelligence building in Cairo and the reasons behind his arrest remain unknown, according to JATO.
The governorate of Cairo had the highest rate of violations with 48 cases, followed by four cases in North Sinai, and two cases in Ismailia, and Daqahleya each. One case was recorded in each of Kafr Al-Sheikh, Qaliubiya, Sharqeya and Menufiya. No cases were reported in South Sinai, Gharbeya, Port Said, Suez and Damietta.
Security forces, including the police and the army who were responsible for securing the polling stations, have reportedly committed the highest number of violations with 24 cases. Violations by government officials were in 15 cases, while five violations were committed by civilians.
The report depended on three aspects to monitor and document cases; their team on the ground, witnesses from victims, and media outlets. “The cases included in the report don’t represent all the violations, but are what the committee managed to monitor in cooperation with the team on the ground,” the report read.
JATO was established in November 2013, aimed at monitoring the mistreatment of Egyptian journalists.