Egyptian security forces have raided the headquarters of the Turkish state news agency in Cairo, arresting three Egyptian journalists and one Turkish journalist.
The police raid on the Anadolu Agency (AA) offices took place on the evening of Tuesday, January 14. The reason for their arrest is unclear and the location of the four journalists has not been released.
“IPI strongly condemns this blatant attack on the Anadolu Agency and its journalists by Egyptian security forces”, IPI Director of Advocacy Ravi R. Prasad said. “Authorities in Cairo must immediately release all four journalists and explain the reason for their arrest.”
Among the employees detained was Egyptian journalist Hussein El-Kabany, according to information provided to IPI by the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms.
Hussein is the twin brother of Hassan El-Kabany, a freelance journalist who is currently behind bars in pre-trial detention in Cairo’s notorious prison facilities.
Hassan was arrested in September 2019 and charged with joining a terrorist group and spreading false information after being lured into the Egyptian National Security Agency headquarters, as IPI previously reported.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry denounced the move as an act of “intimidation and harassment” and demanded that the employees be released.
Egypt has waged a brutal campaign against independent media since 2014. There are currently 61 journalists behind bars in the country, according to IPI research.
Despite its criticism of Egypt, Turkey is currently presiding over its own media crackdown. At least 90 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey according to IPI data, making it the world’s leading jailer of journalists.