Tuesday,14 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1182, (30 January - 5 February 2014)
Tuesday,14 August, 2018
Issue 1182, (30 January - 5 February 2014)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Sinai pipeline bombed

UNIDENTIFIED gunmen bombed a natural gas pipeline 50km south of the Sinai town of Arish late on Monday evening. The bomb struck an Egyptian Natural Gas Company (GASCO) pipeline that leads to a heavy industrial area that is home to several cement manufacturing plants. GASCO sent a team to assess the damage, and the security forces later arrested 10 men as they tried to plant another bomb in the Kuthar district of Sheikh Zuweid.

The bombing, which caused no casualties, was confirmed by residents in the area. Flames were seen coming from the burst pipeline, leading GASCO to shut off the main valves in the area to quell the fire. Monday’s bombing is the third to have taken place this month, and the 19th since the 2011 revolution against ousted former president Hosni Mubarak.

IPI delegation visiting Cairo

A HIGH-LEVEL delegation from the International Press Institute (IPI) met on Monday in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi to discuss the media climate in Egypt, including the protection of journalists. The meeting capped two days of fact-finding discussions with Egyptian lawyers, human rights groups and journalists.

The foreign minister and the delegation agreed on the need for the implementation of the press guarantees contained in Egypt’s newly approved constitution, including provisions that safeguard press freedom, such as articles on freedom of publication and the independence of the news media. The new fundamental law also includes protections against the censorship, confiscation, suspension or closure of news media.

At least 12 Egyptian and foreign journalists, including five from the satellite channel Al-Jazeera, are now being detained in Egypt, while scores of others have been injured and their equipment confiscated or destroyed since former president Mohamed Morsi was removed from power last July. At least five journalists were killed in Egypt in July and August 2013.

The IPI representatives are also scheduled to meet with officials from the State Information Service, as well as with legal and media representatives.

Journalists released

ALL the journalists who were recently arrested were released on 25 January, with Abeer Saadi, a board member of the Press Syndicate, saying that Sada Al-Balad reporter Abdel-Khalek Salah was the only journalist released a day later after concerns that he had in fact been working for the Al-Jazeera satellite channel.

Saadi issued a statement saying that there had been seven cases of reporters working for different news agencies being arrested, in addition to an unidentified photojournalist. “There were four injuries sustained by the reporters, including by Al-Wafd journalist Mohamed Fawzi who is currently undergoing surgery after sustaining gunshot wounds while covering protests in Alf Maskan. Most of the injuries were sustained during clashes, which made it difficult to determine who caused them,” Saadi said.

According to the statement, another Al-Wafd female reporter was assaulted in Ismailia by a mob who mistook her for an Al-Jazeera reporter. Similar incidents took place on 17 January, including the assault of two journalists and a driver working for the German public television station ARD by a mob which accused them of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

Freeing detained students

INTERIM President Adli Mansour said this week that he had urged Prosecutor-General Hesham Barakat to look into the status of those being detained pending investigation, university students in particular. “After the investigations have been finalised, those proven to be innocent will be released,” Mansour said.

During a meeting with Mansour on 22 January, youth activists complained about revolutionaries allegedly being defamed or arbitrarily arrested. Mansour denied that there had been any systematic police violence during the arrests and he requested a list of those allegedly arrested without charge.

Protests on university campuses have been taking place since the beginning of the academic year last September, but they increased after the beginning of the final-year exams in December. Students opposed to the interim authorities and in support of ousted former president Mohamed Morsi have launched demonstrations and called for an exam boycott. The subsequent clashes have led to the deaths of several students, while hundreds of others have been arrested inside and outside campuses.

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