RSF Condemns Egypt Interim Government for Arresting Journalists

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned Egypt's military-installed interim government for arresting journalists “affiliated” or “sympathetic” to the Muslim Brotherhood, saying the future of democracy is at risk in the North African country.

“It is unacceptable and dangerous for the future of democracy in Egypt that media and journalists that are … sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood are being constantly targeted by the authorities on the grounds of maintaining public order and national security,” said Reporters sans Frontières in a statement released on Wednesday.

“We are very disturbed by a renewed increase in violations of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of information,” the statement said.

It also noted that over 10 journalists are currently detained in Egypt, adding that “Most of the detained journalists work or worked for media affiliated …to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Referring to recent closure of the headquarters of Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice newspaper in the capital Cairo, the statement also said that “Arbitrary political decisions to close individual media are being systematically endorsed the courts, something that necessarily raises the question of the judicial system’s current independence. The separation of powers is the cornerstone of any system that aspires to be democratic.”

On Tuesday, Egyptian security forces shut down the headquarters of the newspaper after an administrative court in Cairo banned all activities of the Muslim Brotherhood as a non-governmental organization (NGO).

The court also ordered the interim government to seize all the funds, assets and headquarters of the Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood Society was founded earlier this year as an NGO. Former Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Mahdi Akef, has been its chairman. The society's leaders are not all from the Muslim Brotherhood or its Freedom and Justice Party.

The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party won parliamentary and presidential elections after the country's dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was overthrown in 2011 revolution.

Moreover, since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, the country has been the scene of demonstrations held by his supporters.

In early July 2013, army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that Morsi, a leading former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was no longer in office and declared that the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mahmoud Mansour, had been appointed as the new interim president of Egypt. The army also suspended the constitution.

Hundreds of protesters, mostly Morsi’s supporters, were killed or wounded during the deadly violence that broke out afterwards.

By Press TV, 27/09/2013