Swiss journalists to return home

Four journalists are due to return to Switzerland after being arrested and detained in Cairo while covering anti-government protests.

This content was published on February 4, 2011 - 14:26 and agencies

A journalist from Fribourg-based newspaper La Liberté was arrested by the Egyptian army on Thursday, as were two journalists and a photographer from Lausanne-based L’Hebdo and L’Illustré.

All four are understood to have been released and are expected to arrive in Switzerland on Friday evening.

The Egyptian government has accused media outlets of being sympathetic to the demands of protesters calling for the immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.

Around two dozen foreign journalists were reportedly detained by security forces on Thursday and others were attacked by pro-Mubarak mobs.

“Our journalist was arrested by the army,” said La Liberté deputy editor Sébastien Julan. “But we prefer to be careful about what happened next given the chaotic situation in Cairo. We don’t know if the army arrested our journalist for his protection or to interfere with his work.”

The Swiss journalists’ association, Impressum, joined the United States, French, British, German, Italian and Spanish governments in condemning attacks on journalists.

“Impressum […] condemns the heavy and numerous attacks on journalists in Egypt,” the organisation said in a statement. “[We] ask the [Swiss] government to use all means at its disposal to obtain, by international pressure, from the parties in conflict and in particular from the regime, the respect and security of journalists.”

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