Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: Rights Groups - 36 Violations Against Journalists On Jan 25

Two Egypt-based rights organisations condemned on Sunday the violations that some journalists underwent on Saturday during their coverage of the January 25 celebrations of the popular uprising's third anniversary.

A joint operation room, held by Journalists against Torture (JAT) and the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) said it spotted 36 violation cases, which range from banning journalists and breaking their equipments or seizing it to arresting and assaulting them.

"These violations were systematic and aimed at obstructing the public from knowing about the truth of the police practices against demonstrators," the operation room said in a statement it released today.

The statement added, "Targeting journalists emphasizes the police's lack of respect for the law, which considers a journalist during his coverage of events as a public servant who enjoys legal."

The two groups stressed that Saturday's violations "represent an explicit clampdown on the rights and freedoms that the state is committed to protect by virtue of the constitution, which was adopted in January.

It added that the clampdown also came against "international treaties and conventions that Egypt has ratified; namely Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."

The statement concluded by urging for the release of the journalists and photographers who were detained yesterday and demanding investigations into what happened.

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