Egyptian protesters chant anti-ruling military council slogans during a rally demanding the release of fellow activists, detained during the army operation that dispersed a protest in front of the Ministry of Defense, in Cairo, Egypt Sunday, May 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
CAIRO (AP) — Two media rights groups on Tuesday condemned the Egyptian military for assaulting and arresting journalists who were covering a recent violent crackdown on anti-military protesters in Cairo.
The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said it recorded 32 attacks on journalists during the clashes in the Egyptian capital last week. The journalists were among 300 people arrested during Friday's violence, which broke out when thousands of protesters marched toward the Defense Ministry demanding the country's military rulers step down immediately.
The military took over from longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in a popular uprising in February 2011. But its rule has been marred by periodic violence and angry protests over its management of the transition and maintaining many of Mubarak's repressive practices.
The New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists urged Egypt's ruling military council to investigate allegations that two journalists were "viciously beaten up by soldiers."
"These reports depict an anything-goes atmosphere in which military authorities act with impunity," said CPJ spokesman Mohamed Abdel Dayem. "The council must send a clear message that it will not tolerate such a climate."
The two assaulted journalists work for el-Badil, a privately owned online daily. They were first attacked by thugs, then handed to the military police who allegedly beat them up in custody, according to el-Badil.
The publication posted pictures of the two journalists, their bodies covered in bruises. It said they were released after two days.
According to RSF, several TV crews were attacked by the military police, who smashed their mobile phones, confiscated cameras and deleted footage and photographs. Among those attacked was Qatari-based Al-Jazeera Live Egypt crew and local Egyptian stations such as ONTV, el-Tahrir and CBC.
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