The Committee defending the independence of the press on Wednesday expressed deep concern about arrests of journalists in Egypt.
“This is an assault on freedom of opinion and expression as long as journalists are not involved in criminal acts or crimes affecting national security,” the committee said in a statement.
The Committee to Protect Journalists rated Egypt in the top ten worst countries in terms of the jailing of journalists, with 2013 being the second worst year on record after 2012. CPJ also rated Egypt as one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist in, alongside Iraq and Syria.
Following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsy on 3 July 2013, the military-supported government detained dozens of local and international journalists, particularly those viewed as critical of the government or sympathetic to Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood. Most have been freed.
More recently, four journalists with Al Jazeera English have been detained, accused of broadcasting the banned channel illegally. “State security received information that a member of the (Brotherhood) used two suites in a Cairo hotel to hold meetings with other members of the organization and turned the suites into a press center,” the Interior Ministry said.
Al Jazeera was banned following Morsy's ouster as it was seen as too sympathetic to the Brotherhood.