An Al-Jazeera correspondent has been arrested in Egypt, accused of broadcasting false information, but opposition groups say the arrest is a result of the station’s coverage of an anti-government protest.
The bureau chief of Al-Jazeera’s Egypt office Hussein ‘Abd Al-Ghani was arrested while covering the aftermath of the deadly bombing in Sinai’s Dahab on Monday.
Al-Jazeera said he was accused of broadcasting false information regarding an attack on police forces in Bilbis, northeast of Cairo. The Interior Ministry denied the report, and Al-Jazeera reported the denial. Authorities said Al-Ghani’s false reportage was likely to harm Egyptian security and stability and tarnish the nation’s reputation.
Members of the Kifaya opposition group in Egypt said the authorities were prompted to act after an Al-Jazeera cameraman filmed clashes between security forces and protesters outside the Judges Association this week and wanted to prevent it from being aired, the London-based Elaph reported.
The judges were staging a sit-in protest demanding independence from the government. They were protesting against the arrest of two judges who have been outspoken on alleged electoral fraud in the general elections last year.
Egyptian journalist groups condemned Al-Ghani’s arrest as an attack on press freedom. According to Al-Jazeera, Interior Ministry officials have not responded to inquiries from Al-Ghani’s colleagues regarding his fate.