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'Attack on press freedom' Swiss TV journalists arrested, held in Abu Dhabi

The 6000-square-metre Louvre Abu Dhabi opened to the public on November 11

(Keystone)

Two journalists from Swiss Public Television RTS were arrested and interrogated in Abu Dhabi for 50 hours following a reporting trip to gather footage of the just-opened Louvre Abu Dhabi museum. They were let go on Sunday, but their material was not returned to them. 

Serge Enderlin and Jon Bjorgvinsson were in Abu Dhabi reporting on the museum opening for the French-language programme “Mise au Point”. They were arrested while filming at a market and interrogated for nine hours without a break, according to a statement on the RTS website. external link

Abu Dhabi officials confiscated and kept their cameras, computers and hard drives. According to RTS, the officials were seeking information on whether the journalists were working for an NGO or a country besides Switzerland. 

The journalists were officially accredited to cover the Louvre opening event. RTS called the arrests “an attempt to intimidate and an attack on press freedom”. 

The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors on Saturday after more than a decade of planning and construction. Its exhibits are meant to tell the story of humanity and intercultural relations.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/vdv

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