New Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) India Thursday strongly condemned the detention and vicious attacks on foreign journalists by mobs on the streets in Cairo and issued a travel advisory for Indian journalists planning to cover the protests.
“I am pained and shocked to learn about the detention and attacks on journalists in Egypt, who were reporting on the unfolding developments. Such incidents are totally unacceptable and must stop immediately,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said here Thursday night.
“The journalists must be released unharmed forthwith and the government must ensure their safety and security,” Krishna said. “Violence has no place in any civil society and must be strongly condemned by all right thinking persons,” he added.
Against the backdrop of vicious assaults on foreign journalists, the external affairs ministry asked Indian journalists planning to go to Egypt to get suitable accreditation.
“Around 3,000 foreign and Egyptian correspondents are currently in Cairo to file/film stories and number of them are without suitable accreditation. A number of journalists, including some Indian journalists, have got into trouble as a result,” the ministry said.
The ministry said that a number of Indian journalists have travelled in recent days to Egypt to cover the developments and said it was learnt that more are planning a visit in the coming days.
“However, to avoid being detained or being sent back by Egyptian authorities, it is requested that the following may please be borne in mind: carry your identity card and or passport at all times and keep a copy of your documents safely in the hotel room,” it said.
According to CNN-IBN news channel, their video journalist Rajesh Bhardwaj covering the events in Cairo was taken into preventive custody Thursday and his identity card and tapes burnt. “Bhardwaj along with some other media personnel was reportedly taken into custody by the Egyptian Army but released after some time,” the channel said.
NDTV news channel’s Barkha Datt said from Cairo that their cameras were confiscated and returned after three hours.