Journalists reported that they were assaulted Monday while covering clashes between security forces and protesting high school students against the postponement of their thaneweya amma secondary school exams.
Mohamed Fawzy, a reporter at Misr Journal, stated that the police deleted content off his camera, after he captured them chasing students in the streets surrounding Tahrir Square.
In a Facebook post, Fawzy said he also filmed how Special Forces assaulted students, resulting in one officer running after him. “An officer with the rank of captain handcuffed me, insulted, and beat me although I told him I was a journalist. He dragged me three metres on the floor and attempted to take my camera,” Fawzy wrote.
The journalist said that the attack ended when a higher rank officer, a brigadier general, happened to pass by and recognise him, after which the police officer unbound him and disappeared.
“The brigadier general apologised to me and told me it wasn’t the police who did that to me. It was an ordinary citizen. He said that although he saw that the captain who had assaulted me was wearing a uniform with three stars on it and had handcuffs,” Fawzy continued.
In comments to Daily News Egypt after the incident, Fawzy said he did not file a police report nor demanded a medical report for his bruises.
“What was I going to do? Accuse the Ministry of Interior, while they are the suspect and the judge at the same time? It’s useless. If this was a state of law, I might have done that, but as long as the state does not respect journalists, we will continue to be subject to this,” Fawzy stated.
Fawzy said that although some of his camera content was deleted, he was able to tape the arrest of students, as he said he witnessed at least 20 of them being detained.
Yara Saleh, a reporter at Al-Bedaiah news website, was assaulted by 15 security men, after she refused to give them her mobile phone, with which she had taken videos of police assaults on students. Saleh told Daily News Egypt Tuesday that she was kicked in the stomach and sexually harassed in front of eye witnesses in the street.
In her testimony published on Al-Bedaiah, Saleh said the higher rank officers refused to let her file a police report and covered up for the police officer who attacked her first while she was asking for his name.
Journalists continue to face police brutality and arrests while covering protests. In a condemning statement, the Press Syndicate said that assaults on journalists are part of a security pattern that increased in recent months, following the storming of the syndicate in May.
It added that it will not step down from defending the rights and freedoms of the people.
Hundreds of students had gathered Tuesday in Cairo’s downtown, surrounding the Ministry of Education, and demanding the minister’s resignation over chaos that marked their exams, after repeated leaks and failures of the ministry to find a solution.