The International Federation of Journalists has condemned the closure of media stations in Egypt and demanded the immediate release of any media staff who are being detained.
According to Al Jazeera, Egyptian military forces raided the Cairo offices of its Egyptian station, Al Jazeera Mubashir Misr, on Wednesday night, disrupting its live broadcast. Twenty seven members of staff were detained, with most released later. However, the channel says its managing director, Ayman Gaballah, remains in custody.
It has also been reported by state news agency MENA that Misr25, the Muslim Brotherhood's television station, was taken off the air hours after President Morsi was ousted by military forces. The state-run Al-Ahram and the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party said two other pro-Morsi channels, the Salafi-affiliated Al-Hafiz and Al-Nas, also went off the air at that time. Al-Ahram said police entered the Media Production City offices of all three stations.
"We are deeply concerned by these reports," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "Media offices should not be subject to raids and cannot be closed by authorities based on their own political agenda. We call for any journalists who have been detained following the raids to be released with immediate effect. They have committed no crime and should not be detained for informing the public.
"Regardless of political views, the right to freedom of expression in Egypt must be respected and upheld. We urge the Egyptian military not to deprive Egyptians of information sources during this important period."
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134