Egypt Independent

Head of Al Jazeera Cairo bureau arrested



Egyptian security have arrested the director of the Al Jazeera news office in Cairo, Abdel Fattah Fayed, and a reporter named Ahmed Youssef who was with him at the time, Al Jazeera news website has reported.
 
On Friday, the Doha-based broadcaster reported that a group of unidentified offenders broke into their editorial office in Egypt, destroying all their equipment. 
 
Army forces earlier detained six reporters from Al Jazeera's English-language channel.
 
Security forces–believed to belong to military police–had given orders to Al Jazeera staff in Cairo to stop work.
 
Reporters from Al Jazeera told Al-Masry Al-Youm that members of the military police asked them to hand over their work permits, which they said they have not received since 2002 even though they have requested the renewal of their permits. The reporters said they were forced to give up their expired permits and ordered to stop shooting and live coverage of news. Because they were threatened with having their equipment confiscated they closed the Cairo office.
 
Al-Jazeera staff have reportedly been harassed since 28 January. The channel has been repeatedly blocked on NileSat, members of staff arrested, and equipment confiscated.
 
Egyptian authorities complained that  the channel’s round-the-clock coverage was slanted toward protesters and could encourage more unrest.The station, meanwhile, denounced the closure as an attempt to muzzle open reporting.
 
The government decision to prevent Al Jazeera reporting from Egypt was first announced on state-run Nile Television. It came amid international praise for the network's extensive coverage of events in Egypt and Tunisia.