The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said it was deeply disturbed by the arrest of Al-Jazeera cameraman Mohamed Badr in a Wednesday statement.
Badr was arrested on Monday night while covering the deadly clashes between supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi and security forces in Ramses.
On Tuesday, the prosecution went to Al-Azbakeya police station and conducted investigations with Badr, bringing several criminal charges, including possession of a weapon, disturbing public peace, and assaulting police, ANHRI said.
Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr said on Wednesday that Badr continues to be held inside Al-Azbakeya police station.
ANHRI said it is astonished at the criminal charges brought against the cameraman, adding that it was deeply concerned with “the Ministry of Interior’s continued use of old methods which Egyptians have revolted against, like fabricating charges.”
The human rights network called on interim President Adly Mansour to urgently intervene to see Badr’s release, as well as to protect journalists and media while doing their jobs, especially during clashes and in dangerous places.
“Attempting to involve media and media workers in the on-going political crisis … could plague freedom of expression and the media during the transitional phase,” ANHRI said.
The crew of Sky News Arabia as well was attacked by Morsi supporters and their car was damaged while covering the clashes in Ramses, the channel said.
The Muslim Brotherhood-owned Misr 25, along with other Islamist channels such as Al-Hafez, Amgad and Al-Nas were taken off the air following the 3 July announcement that Morsi would be removed from office. The channels openly supported Morsi.
The forced closure of the channels was also condemned by ANHRI.
Reporters Without Borders said it was alarmed that this was among the first decisions taken by Egypt’s new leadership.