Journalists have suffered “an extremely heavy toll” since 3 July, when former president Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power, according to Reporters Without Borders (RWB).
Over the past two months, five journalists have been killed and at least 80 have been arbitrarily detained, according to a statement issued by the group on Monday. Of the 80 journalists who have been detained, seven remain in custody.
At least 40 reporters have been physically attacked by the police, pro-army, or pro-Morsi demonstrators, said RWB.
“These violations of freedom of information have taken place in a highly polarised political environment that has made the situation extremely difficult and dangerous for journalists,” said the statement.
“Reporters must be able to work without their lives being put in danger, regardless of the political fault lines,” said RWB’s statement. “We deplore the passivity of the new Egyptian authorities and we urge them to react quickly by taking concrete measures to guarantee journalists’ safety and respect for freedom of information.”
RWB said the five killed journalists included Freedom and Justice Party photographer Ahmed Assem El-Senoussi at the Republican Guards Club, Sky News cameraman Mick Dean, Al-Akhbar reporter Ahmed Abdel Gawad, and Rassd News Network photojournalist Mosab Al-Shami during the violent dispersal of Rabaa Al-Adaweya on 14 August, and Al-Ahram regional bureau chief Tamer Abdel Raouf at an army checkpoint in Damanhour on 19 August.
The group’s statement also documented the names of journalists who had been detained, including 23 foreign journalists. Most of the briefly detained journalists were either with media that supports the Muslim Brotherhood or foreign journalists accused of biased reporting.
RWB also documented attacks on journalists who were covering Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations and clashes with security forces, including some who suffered gunshot injures.
The group highlighted media censorship that included the closing of television stations that had supported Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. An administrative court on Monday ordered the permanent closure of Al-Hafez, one of those channels. Soldiers raided the offices of Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr on 3 July and blocked its live broadcast.
On Sunday, three foreign Al-Jazeera journalists were released from custody and deported.