Reporters Without Borders is horrified by what appears to be an all-out witch-hunt against news media that are covering events in Egypt and is very concerned for all the journalists currently in Cairo, especially on the eve of a major demonstration planned by President Hosni Mubarak’s opponents for tomorrow, which they are describing as the deadline for his departure.
“Theft, violence, arbitrary arrests and extreme violence… the list of abuses against journalists by President Mubarak’s supporters is getting longer by the hour and they are clearly systematic and concerted,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said.
“After shutting down the Internet and then reconnecting it at the start of this week, the regime has decided to target media personnel physically by unleashing its supporters in an unprecedented campaign of hatred and violence. This has gone beyond censorship. This is now about ridding Cairo of all journalists working for foreign news media.
Emad Mekay, a reporter for IPS, says:
Mubarak may be preparing for something which he does not want the world to see. The government is using all tools it can to thwart tomorrow’s big marches in Tahrir Square and elsewhere. They are sending text messages in Arabic through the local mobile phone companies warning people about ‘getting into trouble.’ One message reads: ‘Oh you young people of Egypt, listen to the voice of reason and be warned of rumors. Egypt is above all.’ Mubarak has always portrayed himself as a wise man and the ‘voice of reason.’
Even Fox News is on top of this story:
ABC News has compiled a list of all the journalist who have been in some way threatened, attacked or detained while reporting in Egypt.
One would hope that with so many journalists attacked and threatened that the perpetrators in Egypt, and their criminal leaders would be punished. However, one must not forget the example of worse action undertaken by the US Army in Iraq — the machinegunning and killing of two Reuters correspondents from a helicopter — has gone past without anyone answering for the crime.