An editorial in the Los Angeles Times says: It’s increasingly evident that the military rulers of Egypt are determined to intimidate and silence their political opponents, whether they are members of the Muslim Brotherhood or secular Egyptians who believe the generals are betraying the spirit of the “Arab Spring.” Yet the Obama administration continues to entertain the pious hope that Egypt is on the road to an inclusive democracy.
In recent days the military-backed government has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization — blaming it for an attack on a police headquarters for which another group claimed responsibility — and has seized the financial assets of hundreds of Brotherhood activists and other Islamist figures.
But the Brotherhood isn’t the only target. Three leaders of the protests in 2011 that toppled President Hosni Mubarak have been sentenced to three years in prison for violating a law that criminalized street protests. And as part of an attempt to deny opposition groups publicity, authorities arrested four journalists from the satellite channel Al Jazeera English and charged them with “broadcasting false news.” [Continue reading…]
Al Jazeera says: These arrests are part of what Reporters Without Borders has called growing hostility towards journalists in Egypt.
There has also been a campaign against Al Jazeera in particular as the channel’s offices were raided in August and security forces seized equipment which has yet to be returned.
Al Jazeera called on the Egyptian authorities to immediately release all its detained staff unconditionally along with their belongings and equipment.