Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based Arabic news network which has already been shut down in Egypt, said six of its English-speaking journalists have been arrested in Egypt, amidst continuing unrest in the country.
According to Dan Nolan, al-Jazeera’s correspondent in the United Arab Emirates, the six also had their cameras and other broadcasting equipment confiscated by the military in Cairo.
Four soldiers entered our room took our camera. [We are] under military arrest, Nolan posted on Twitter. Unsure if arrested or about to be deported. Six of us held at army checkpoint outside Hilton hotel. Equipment seized too.”
Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, who has appointed several new ministers, is apparently committed to cracking down on the media. The authorities in the country had actually blamed al-Jazeera for helping to foment nationwide protests against Mubarak.
After Al-Jazeera interviewed an anti-Mubarak cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi (who called on Mubarak to quit), the network’s Cairo operations were closed.
Meanwhile, al-Jazeera is urging Egyptian bloggers and others to transmit eyewitness accounts of the continuing revolt.
This call goes out to bloggers, citizen journalists, and anyone with a camera who has content to send, Al-Jazeera said in a statement. We've already made great use of social networking, and today we've found public contributions intensifying.
Journalists from other sources, including the British Guardian paper, have also been beaten up by Egyptian police. According to the international press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, more than a dozen reporters have been arrested in Egypt since the uprising began,