- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Qatari-owned media company Al-Jazeera has called for the release of staff members who reportedly were detained in the network’s Cairo office earlier this week.

“Al-Jazeera is demanding the immediate release of staff members detained overnight in Cairo,” the organization said in a statement Thursday. “Egyptian forces raided Al-Jazeera premises overnight. Twenty-eight Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr staff members were detained, with most released later. The channel’s managing director Ayman Gaballah and Al-Jazeera Arabic broadcast engineer Ahmad Hasan remain in custody however.”

“Ayman and Ahmad must be released unharmed immediately,” Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al-Jazeera Media Network, said in a statement. “Media offices should not be subject to raids and intimidation. Journalists should not be detained for doing their jobs.”

“There are big events taking place in Egypt and the world tunes in to Al Jazeera at times like these,” he continued. “The viewing public will not accept being cut-off from news and information. Regardless of political views, the Egyptian people expect media freedoms to be respected and upheld.”

Reuters reported Sunday that a cameraman outside the Al-Jazeera office said he saw no sign of a raid.

A spokesman for the channel in Doha said that its Cairo bureau chief was taken in for questioning on Sunday but had been released. He said he was not aware of any raid, Reuters reported.

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