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Egypt arrests four Al Jazeera journalists

Source: Reuters - Mon, 30 Dec 2013 21:12 PM
Author: Reuters
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The Egyptian government on Monday arrested four journalists from the Al Jazeera English network.

Arrests for three of the journalists happened at the Marriott Hotel on the Nile.

It was in their hotel suite that the Interior Ministry has accused the network of broadcasting illegally.

They said those involved in the broadcasts included a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was declared a terrorist group last week.

The Qatari-based network has been accused of bias in its reporting.

Al Jazeera is demanding the release of the journalists.

Journalist Hisham Kassim said he was critical of the reporting but drew the line at arrests.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JOURNALIST AND COMMENTATOR, HISHAM KASSIM, SAYING:

"In spite of the fact that Jazeera has vulgarised its track record and has become partisan and part of the ongoing struggle in Egypt right now, they're siding with the Muslim Brotherhood, however the state is not justified in what happened today or in any of the harassment that has happened to this station recently. I really don't think the state is in a position to play guardian over me, and they should allow me to access Jazeera and the site for myself."

The government closed the network's Cairo offices in July following the military overthrow of president Mohamed Mursi.

Since then all leaders of the Brotherhood have been arrested or have left the country.

Also on Monday, the Committee to Protect Journalists added Egypt to a list of one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.

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