Egyptian police have fired tear gas on a crowd of protesters outside the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters in Cairo. Dozens of people were arrested in a crackdown on the demonstrators.
Egyptians turned out to condemn what they called an assault on journalists on behalf of the Brotherhood earlier on Saturday. During the incident, several journalists, including an RT cameraman, were attacked outside the headquarters by Brotherhood supporters.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the capital Sunday
afternoon, chanting slogans against President Mohamed Morsi and the
Islamist group from which he hails.
Some of the then were holding banners which read, "Down with Brotherhood rule."
The demonstration turned violent after a group of protesters
tried to break through security forces which were guarding the
group's headquarters. Officers used teargas to disperse the crowds,
while protesters set tires on fire in the street.
The newly elected head of the Journalists' Syndicate, Diaa
Rashwan, condemned the attacks and called on Brotherhood Supreme
Guide Mohamed Badie to apologize. He also urged Egyptian President
Mohamed Morsi to condemn the assaults.
Rashwan did not rule out that the violence against journalists
had been carried out under orders from the Muslim Brotherhood's
leaders; the reporters were covering a meeting between Brotherhood
Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and Hamas leader Khaled
At the same time, Brotherhood spokesperson Yasser Mehrez, has
denied that his members intentionally attacked the
"Clashes erupted because some people tried to break into the
Brotherhood’s headquarters. The young members of the Brotherhood
did not intend to assault journalists or anyone else,” Ahram
Online quoted Mehrez as saying. “Everybody has freedom of
expression and the right to protest, but insults and sabotage are
The Muslim Brotherhood insisted that guards outside the
headquarters were provoked and insulted by the activists and
journalists. Reporters said the assault took place after activists
sprayed anti-Brotherhood graffiti on the ground outside the
headquarters; Brotherhood guards retaliated with sticks and
RT’s Mohammad Moukhtar, cameraman for the Arabic department, was
among the crowd of journalists filming the activists drawing
graffiti. He sustained a head injury while he was trying to protect
his camera as a gang of men armed with sticks and knives attacked a
group of activists and journalists. Despite Mohammad’s efforts,
RT’s camera was broken and stolen.
The latest violence against journalists comes amid unceasing
unrest in Egypt, with anti-government protests being staged in the
capital Cairo and across the entire country.
Sunday’s protests at the Journalists' Syndicate in downtown
Cairo was the first of three demonstrations the journalists plan to
hold. They will gather at the prosecutor-general's office on
Tuesday, and outside of the Brotherhood's headquarters on