CAIRO: Twenty violations against journalists covering the first day of the presidential election were reported Monday to the Press Syndicate said syndicate undersecretary Alaa Thabet.
Thabet, who is also the head of the elections chamber at the syndicate, told The Cairo Post that most of the violations were in Qena due to judges and security forces there not allowing journalists to enter the polling stations, even though they were authorized by the High Presidential Elections Committee (HPEC).
“There were two cases of journalists detained by security forces in Nag Hammadi and Faqus in Qena because they did not have authorization,” Thabet said. “I am against detaining journalists; they could have just prevented them from entering the station.”
He added that one of the detained journalists was taking photos outside the polling station “and this does not need to be authorized by HPEC.”
Thabet also said there was an assault against a journalist in Qena by police forces and that there were other reported violations against journalists in Cairo, Alexandria, Wadi Gedid and South Sinai.
He added however, “It was a limited number [of violations] and we are in direct contact with HPEC, and it quickly responded to the complaints we sent.”
The Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, a civil society organization monitoring the elections, reported on its Facebook page that three journalists were assaulted and detained at a polling station at the Religious Institute in Qena while taking photos outside the station.