Al-Bawabh News reporter El Mohamed El-Moardy was released, after he was arrested and detained for nearly three hours while reporting from Gameat Al-Dowal Street in the Mohandessin neighbourhood of the Giza governorate Friday.
“I was filming police carding operations on Gameat Al-Dowal Street after Friday prayers, when a police officer suddenly confiscating my tablet in a savage manner,” El-Moardy told Daily News Egypt.
According to El-Moardy, the police detained him and then proceeded to threaten to beat him confiscated his national press identification cards. El-Moardy said he then asked to contact his workplace, but the police officer refused his request.
El-Moardy was brought to the Al-Awqaf police station on Gameat Al-Dowal Street, where he was interrogated.
“After I was questioned, I repeated my demand to contact my newspaper, but they refused. They left me with some police officers for nearly three hours after careful inspection, until the head of the police station asked me to contact my newspaper.”
“Journalists in Egypt are now treated as criminals when they are questioned inside any police station,” he said, adding that any journalist in Egypt is liable to be arrested suddenly on charges of doing nothing more than his work.
El-Moardy called on the Press Syndicate to take effective measures in response to any violations committed by police against journalists, whether the journalist is a member of the syndicate or not.
Journalists in Egypt often face difficulties in carrying out their work due to security measures imposed by police forces.
In its December census, Journalists Against Torture Observatory reported 34 incidents where journalists were banned from covering an event or the content of their camera had been deleted.
In addition, there were seven recorded cases in which journalists had been verbally harassed by government security forces, six cases in which journalists had faced litigation, and four cases in which journalists had been physically assaulted by police forces.
Three cases were recorded in which journalists faced punitive fines, along with three cases of detention, one case in which press equipment had been damaged, one case in which a journalist was sentenced to prison in absentia, and one incident in which a journalist was arrested.