Letter from IFJ President
Brussels, 4th February 2011
I write to ask you to join us in our effort to stop the
attacks against journalists in Egypt. As you may be aware, dozens of journalists were arrested, attacked and beaten yesterday
in one of the biggest witch-hunts against journalists in recent years. In
several cities, the Egyptian government and its supporters embarked in a
violent campaign to intimidate and stop the international media from reporting
recent events in Egypt.
Some journalists were arrested,
others were beaten and had their cameras smashed and some abducted at
knifepoint. There were reported assaults on journalists for CNN, CBS, the BBC,
Danish TV2 News, Swiss television and Belgium's Le Soir newspaper, Associated
Press, Russia's Zvezda television channel, Turkey's state broadcaster TRT,
Polish television TVP, al-Arabiya TV, among others. Egyptian authorities shut
al-Jazeera's office on Sunday.
the IFJ concentrated on sending out with INSI safety advice
to journalists on the spot, arranging for them a hotline as well as organising
a special satellite telephone support for our colleagues in the Egyptian
Syndicate, and preparing our global campaign in support of journalists.
I enclose the letter which I sent last night to the
Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Chafik. I should be grateful if you would write
to him urgently in similar terms on behalf of you union to demand that his
government should ensure that these attacks are stopped forthwith and take
responsibility for the protection of journalists.