IFJ Condemns Escalation of Violence against Journalists in Egyptian Unrest
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today expressed grave concerns at reports of serious assaults against journalists covering events in the Egyptian crisis in recent days and condemned the arrests and the imprisonment of journalists.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of violence against journalists and call for the immediate release of those journalists who have been arrested,” said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. “The media must be free to report on the facts of what is happening in Egypt and we are gravely concerned to hear stories of repression and violence towards representatives of the press.”
Reports from the country suggest that many journalists have been obstructed from carrying out their professional duties with numerous examples of violence and some serious injuries. The Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate (EJS) accused the authorities in Cairo and Alexandria of ordering attacks on journalists who were covering the protests on Saturday, calling for the return to civilian rule in the country.
According to the EJS, 16 journalists and photographers were attacked and some of them sustained serious injuries while others were arrested. The syndicate held a protest on Wednesday to underscore the need to protect journalists during crisis situations. To that end, journalists adopted the slogan ‘Journalists’ safety is a red line’ during the protest which coincided with the International Day against Impunity which was celebrated for the first time yesterday on 23 November.
The IFJ has called on the authorities to take responsibility for ensuring press freedom in Egypt
“The Egyptian authorities must guarantee that journalists are able to do their work without fear or hindrance,” added Boumelha. “We salute the work being done by the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate to defend its members in the face of these repressive tactics and support its demand for an independent investigation in the attacks on media.”