Egypt Independent

Washington Post criticizes recent arrest of journalists



The Washington Post
 criticized the Egyptian government in a report published on its website Thursday over the arrest of journalists and the Sinai military operation.
 
The paper suggested that the ongoing military operation in North Sinai is strengthening rather than weakening terrorist groups and leading to a steady decline in security due to the indiscriminate attacks on civilians, which aggravates the Sinai people's feelings of injustice and encourages them to join these groups.
 
The article mentioned that Egyptian journalist, rights activist and researcher Ismail Iskandarani was arrested last week by Egyptian authorities for promoting this theory and had been accused of joining the Muslim Brotherhood and circulating false news.
 
The article said it is a growing trend for detained journalists critical of the Egyptian government to be accused of belonging to the banned group, the article added.
 
"(Iskandarani) is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood but one of its critics, and the articles and papers he has produced on the Egyptian army’s operations in the Sinai are based on careful research," the paper said.
 
“The barbaric behavior, close to that of armed mercenaries, that the inhabitants of the border areas of Sinai have suffered . . . is completely destroying the possibility of establishing a respectful relationship between the citizens in Sinai and the state," the paper quoted Iskandarani.
 
Iskandarani was arrested at Hurghada airport late Sunday while returning from Germany, where he was delivering a number of lectures and seminars. He was referred to the Supreme State Security Prosecution in Cairo.
 
Iskandarani is a researcher with the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and an independent journalist who specializes on Sinai. 
 
A journalist and friend of Iskandarani said on Facebook that his arrest came by request of the Egyptian embassy in Germany, which accused him of “tarnishing Egypt’s reputation.”
 
The Washington Post also mentioned the arrest of journalist Hossam Bahgat after he published an article on the secret prosecution of military officers on coup-plotting charges. 
 
The article also criticized the Obama administration over the military aid it provides to the Egyptian government.