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Cairo Press Center Says Violence Against Journalists 'Unacceptable'


Egypt -- A member of the press lies on the ground after being attacked by mobs while soldiers surround him in Cairo, 03Feb2011

Egypt -- A member of the press lies on the ground after being attacked by mobs while soldiers surround him in Cairo, 03Feb2011

This statement from the Cairo Foreign Press Center was received by our colleagues at Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), a US congressionally funded broadcaster in the Middle East. Two Cairo-based broadcasters for Alhurra, MBN's satellite tv channel, received death threats last week.

(Original statement in Arabic with English translation as follows.)

Statement

Statements issued by a number of international sources alleging an official policy against international media are false. Acts of violence against journalists, or any person are unacceptable. International media have been, and are always welcome in Egypt. Currently there are over one thousand international journalists in the country, and all visiting journalists who wish to cover developments in the country should request accreditation.

In instances were international media have been detained for questioning by the authorities, the Ministry of Information, represented by the State Information Service, has worked closely and successfully with authorities to expedite the process of their release.

Regrettably, international journalists have been endangered by the same conditions that have threatened all Egyptians in areas of the country where there have been major disturbances and a breakdown of security. All these matters are the subject of comprehensive and in depth investigation as ordered by the President, and monitored by the Vice-President and the Prime Minister.

Wherever possible the State Information Service has responded to requests for assistance, and worked with the authorities to initiate measures such as organizing safe transport from areas where security conditions have deteriorated or where journalists feel threatened.

In light of all the above the State Information Services urges all international media to:

· Exercise maximum judgment and vigilance when choosing when and where to cover developments;
· Fully cooperate with all lawful authorities; and
· Contact the Cairo Foreign Press Center for assistance, particularly in emergency situations.
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