Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy tweeted to say she had been arrested and beaten in Cairo this morning. Eltahawy, who writes for Canada’s Toronto Star, Israel’s The Jerusalem Report and Denmark’s Politiken, is said to have been detained by Police in Tahrir Square. Following her arrest, the journalist tweeted “Beaten arrested in interior ministry” around 4am (EET).
Her arrest sparked outrage on Twitter, and the campaign to #FreeMona began trending worldwide.
It is also believed that activist Maged Butter, who was with Eltahawy, was also arrested, and a similar #freemaged campaign began on Twitter. Unconfirmed reports on the micro-blogging site suggest Maged has since been freed.
Also, documentary film-maker, Jehane Noujaim, best known for her documentary “Control Room” about the pan-Arab news station, Al-Jazeera, was detained, and her camera confiscated.
The US State department responded to the rumours of the arrests on Twitter: “Reports of @monaeltahawy and @pangeaworld detention very concerning. @USEmbassyCairo engaging authorities. #FreeMona“.
Images calling for the release of Mona and Maged also appeared on Twitter, as well as an image showing Maged’s injuries, following his release.
Mona tweeted “I AM FREE” shortly after 12.20 EET, and said she could barely type following “12 hours with Interior Ministry bastards and military intelligence combined.” Mona also alleged she had been sexually assaulted by 5 or 6 members of the Egyptian security forces, who “groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area.”