Egypt: Police arrest journalists in raid on press syndicate
May 1, Cairo: Egyptian police have stormed the press syndicate in Cairo and arrested two journalists critical of the government, a syndicate official and reporters said.
The interior ministry denied officers stormed the press labour union building, a traditional spot in downtown Cairo to stage protests, but confirmed some of its members had arrested the journalists inside the syndicate on Sunday.
Security forces have sought to quell dissent since thousands took to the streets on April 15 to protest against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's government.
On Sunday, journalists held a sit-in inside the union when officers arrested two of them. Both of the detained work for the opposition website Bawabet Yanayer, and one is its editor, syndicate officials said.
"The incident is true, and at the very least the interior minister has to be fired and there needs to be an apology," Khalid al-Balshy, a syndicate board member, told the Reuters news agency.
Mahmoud Kamel, another member of the syndicate board, said more than 40 policemen stormed the building but the interior ministry said its force consisted of just eight officers.
"The ministry affirms that it did not raid the syndicate or use any kind of force in arresting the two journalists, who handed themselves in as soon as they were told there was an arrest warrant," the interior ministry said in a statement.
A security guard was wounded in the eye when police raided the union, Kamel said.
Under the law only a prosecutor is allowed to search the union in the presence of its chairman or deputy, he added. "This is unprecedented. No president or prime minister or interior minister has ever dared to do something like this," Kamel said.
The Oslo Times