Egyptian authorities on July 4 shut down four Islamist-run television stations viewed as sympathetic to ousted President Mohamed Morsi. This crackdown occurred only a day after the Egyptian military removed Morsi from office and installed an interim government headed by High Constitutional Court judge Adly Mansour. The military also raided the offices of Al Jazeera’s Egyptian news channel and detained at least five of its staff members, four of whom were later released. Another station run by the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from the air as it was showing pro-Morsi protesters chanting “down with military rule” following the announcement that Morsi had been removed from power.
The crackdown has caused concern among various groups, including Amnesty International, whose General Secretary Salil Shetty stated:
There has already been a blow to freedom of expression, with several TV channels which supported the President silenced and staff reportedly arrested immediately after his overthrow. Amid fears of possible reprisals and revenge attacks against supporters of President Morsi, along with the worrying trend of mob violence and sexual assaults on women this is a time for extreme caution.
Various other human rights organizations also expressed concern about the extensive record of human rights violations that Egypt’s armed forces have committed in the past, and urged them to comply with international human rights laws in this time of great tension.
From Jurist, July 5. Used with permission.