The dangers journalists face in Egypt

A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi during clashes with police in Cairo on August 14, 2013, as security forces moved in on two pro-Morsi protest camps, launching a long-threatened crackdown. (Mosa'ab Elshamy/AFP/Getty Images)


General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, now Egypt's defacto ruler presides over a crackdown on journalists that is so severe they risk charges of terrorism should they dare to interview or report on the political opposition. Today, we hear from journalists who have put themselves at risk documenting Egypt's turmoil.

"I want to tell you that we've been concerned with controlling the media from the very first day the army took over power in 2011. We're working on this and we're achieving more positive results but we're yet to achieve what we want."

General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, now Egypt's defacto ruler

On August 14th of last year, Egyptian security forces stormed into Rabaa Square and confronted supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Using tear gas, rubber bullets, birdshot and live ammunition, they cleared the square. Nearly a thousand people were killed in the confrontation in what Human Rights Watch calls the worst unlawful killing in modern Egyptian history. Three journalists were among the dead that day.

Last week, The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a report saying the situation for journalists in Egypt deteriorated dramatically over the course of 2013. And the timing of the report was especially poignant.


Mosa'ab Elshamy. Cairo, Egypt. July 27, 2013. Mosa'ab Elshamy. Cairo, Egypt. July 27, 2013.
Read about this photo and see other photos picked as TIME's Best Photos of 2013

Just over a week ago, four members of Al Jazeera English's Egypt Bureau were arrested under broad new anti-terrorism laws aimed at cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood. Canadian Mohamed Fahmy is among those jailed.

To help understand the challenges of reporting from Egypt and what's at stake in trying to continue doing it, we were joined by three people.

  • Mosa'ab Elshamy is a 23-year-old photojournalist based in Cairo. Last month, TIME Magazine featured one of his photos among its best photos of 2013.

"Egypt 2013, A Year of Broken Hopes" -- Mosa'ab Elshamy's Photo Essay

  • Sherine Tadros is a former Al Jazeera English correspondent who has covered Egypt extensively. She was in London, England today.

Share your thoughts on this discussion.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar and Josh Bloch.

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