Members of the Egyptian armed forces, who overthrew the democratically-elected government of Mohamed Morsi with the help of the West to protect their economic interests, are now setting their sights on foreign media, accusing it of biais and unnecessery criticism.
Al-Jazeera TV in the capital Cairo has become the latest target of this massive ‘witchhunt’, with 28 staff members of Mubasher Misr being arrested overnight in a violent raid.
Most of them have since been released, but the channel’s managing director Ayman Gaballah and Al Jazeera Arabic broadcast engineer Ahmad Hasan remain in custody, the Doha-based news network announced in a statement a short while ago.
In the latest development, Associated Press Television News has been ordered to deny Al Jazeera channels access to their live services, Al Jazeera said. 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, saying: “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,” he concluded.
Violence has erupted in Egypt on Friday, precisely in Sinai as one ssoldier was killed and two were wounded when a police station in Rafah came under attack from gunmen, Reuters reported today, quoting security sources and state TV.
Earlier, attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades at army checkpoints guarding El Arish airport, close to the border with the Gaza Strip and Israel, in the latest of a string of security incidents in the lawless region, Reuters said.
The Egypt military, who have ruled the country for 54 years, have banned for the private media and arrested many members of the Muslim Brotherhood. As expected, the West has not condemned the coup d’etat nor reprimanded the military for their last attempt to cling to power.
The Egpytian military receive a whopping US$1.3 billion in aid annually from the US government.