CAIRO: A TV crew from Al-Arabiya was detained at the Metro Authority Wednesday by the Head of the National Institute for Tunnels, who was offended by the interview questions, and confiscated the recordings.
The head of the National Institute for Tunnels Maj. Gen. Ismail el-Nagdy defended himself in a Wednesday phone call with CBC Channel, saying the Al-Arabiya presenter’s questions “focused on Metro malfunctions.”
“From the beginning of the interview, her questions carried a severe criticism against the Metro Authority by pointing at the street vendors there, malfunctions and accidents, instead of focusing on the new metro line to be opened within the coming days,” Nagdy told the channel.
“Maj. Gen. Nagdy was angry after I told him that many metro vehicles stop, and he answered ‘No metros stop’,” said Doha el-Zoheery, the Al-Arabiya al-Hadath presenter to CBC.
She continued, “Although he waited until we finished the interview, he demanded the recorded tapes at the end saying that he refuses this interview be aired.” Zoheery added that Maj. Gen. Nagdy prevented the crew from leaving unless they submit the tapes.
Zoheery wrote on her personal Twitter account that she was filing a police report about the incident.
In his statements to CBC Channel, Nagdy denied the crew was detained at the Metro Authority; however he said that he “prevented them from leaving with the tapes.”
During the past violent clashes and incidents took place in Egypt, both local and international journalists faced a crackdown and several detentions.
Four Al-Jazeera English journalists were arrested in late December, accused of “spreading false news.” They are standing trial, and the next hearing was adjourned to May 3.