London, 16.30 GMT Index on Censorship condemns the tactics of intimidation and violence being used against peaceful protesters, journalists and human rights activists in Egypt. Over the past 24 hours, there have been reports of both Egyptians and foreigners being injured, detained and intimidated in the beginning of a crackdown. Incidents include: the arrest of three al Jazeera journalists; the disappearance of Swedish reporter Bert Sundström; the harassment of reporters from Daily News Egypt; the beating of Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey; the arrest of Washington Post journalists Leila Fadel and Linda Davidson; the attacks on hotels in Cairo housing foreign journalists; and the detention of foreign and Egyptian human rights workers.
We call on the government and the authorities to release all journalists, human rights workers and protesters who are being unlawfully held and to abide by Egypt’s legal obligations in respecting freedom of expression and the right to protest. We remind President Mubarak that Egypt is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We ask the EU, the United States and the UN to put pressure on the Egypytian government to restrain forces acting in its name.