Monitoring press freedom and international affairs from Mid-Missouri Public Radio and the Missouri School of Journalism

Egypt: Islamist journalists arrested for incitement

16 April 2014

Egyptian authorities detained two journalists for an Islamist news website April 9 and accused them of inciting and committing violence in recent protests.

Ahmed al-Ajos and Abdel Rahman Shaheen, correspondents for the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice News Gate, were arrested separately in the Nile Delta town of Minufiyah and Suez City respectively, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

Shaheen had worked with two newspapers as well as Al-Jazeera, according to Reporters Without Borders.  The Qatar-based television network’s journalists have been targeted by Egypt’s current government. Al-Jazeera’s Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed are currently on trial for allegedly aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned as a terrorist group after the Islamist president Mohammed Morsi was deposed in a July coup.

The state-run news agency MENA reported that Shaheen has nine arrest warrants against him over alleged violent attacks against police, including torching security vehicles, the AP reported.

Both of the men have been placed in pre-trial detention, CPJ reported.

In the ongoing trial of Greste, Fahmy and Mohammed, the al-Jazeera journalists are saying they are being held arbitrarily after the prosecution’s case against them turned out to include irrelevant footage unrelated to Egypt’s current upheaval.

Video evidence provided in court included “footage of a trotting horse by Sky News Arabia, a Somalia documentary from the BBC, and excerpts of a speech by a Kenyan government official,” the Guardian reported.

Prosecutors had said the footage would “prove that the trio smeared Egypt's reputation, doctored footage, and helped terrorists,” the Guardian said.

The trial was adjourned April 10 and the next scheduled hearing is April 22.

Monitoring press freedom and international affairs from Mid-Missouri Public Radio and the Missouri School of Journalism.
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