Al Jazeera is demanding the immediate release of staff members detained overnight in Cairo.
Egyptian forces raided Al Jazeera premises overnight. Twenty-eight Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr staff members were detained, with most released later. The channel’s managing director Ayman Gaballah and Al Jazeera Arabic broadcast engineer Ahmad Hasan remain in custody however.
In the latest development, Associated Press Television News has been ordered to deny Al Jazeera channels access to their live services. Cairo News Company (CNC) has also been told to withhold access to broadcast equipment such as satellite trucks.
Mostefa Souag, acting Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network, condemned the moves:
“Ayman and Ahmad must be released unharmed immediately. Media offices should not be subject to raids and intimidation. journalists should not be detained for doing their jobs.
“There are big events taking place in Egypt and the world tunes in to Al Jazeera at times like these. The viewing public will not accept being cut-off from news and information. Regardless of political views, the Egyptian people expect media freedoms to be respected and upheld.
“We are grateful to all the media organisations giving us their support on these matters.
“Al Jazeera has always reported comprehensively in Egypt, even in difficult circumstances. We will continue to do that with our usual approach of encompassing all opinions with accuracy, balance and fairness.”