Egyptian police raid Journalists Syndicate, arrest two

Published May 2nd, 2016 - 08:00 GMT
Protests outside the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate in 2015. (AFP/File)
Protests outside the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate in 2015. (AFP/File)

Egyptian police have stormed the headquarters of the Journalists’ Syndicate in central Cairo and arrested two journalists on charges of inciting protest rallies against the government.

Officers stormed the press labor union building in downtown Cairo on Sunday and arrested Amr Badr and Mahmud el-Sakka.

Badr heads the Arabic-language opposition website Bawabet Yanayer (January Gate), whose name is a reference to the 2011 popular uprising against long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak. Sakka works for the same organization.

Mahmoud Kamel, a member of the syndicate board, said more than 40 policemen raided the building, even though the Interior Ministry put the number of police officers involved at only eight.

He added that a security guard sustained injuries in the eye as police raided the press syndicate office.

“There was an arrest warrant for the two journalists issued a week ago; but the syndicate was discussing the matter with the Interior Ministry,” he said.

Khalid al-Balshy, another syndicate board member, said, “The incident is true and at the very least the interior minister (Ahmed al-Zind) has to be fired and there needs to be an apology.”

Dozens of journalists later staged a new sit-in at the headquarters of the Journalists’ Syndicate to express their opposition to the arrests.

A judicial source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pair had been wanted by prosecutors for inciting anti-government rallies.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material

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