Egypt police arrest Al-Jazeera journalists: ministry

Egypt police arrest Al-Jazeera journalists: ministry
Egyptian Riot policemen fire tear gas towards supporters during a demonstration of Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Morsi on November 29, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. Police fired tear gas at Islamists who demonstrated in Egypt, defying a new law banning unauthorised protests that has also angered activists following the arrest of a prominent blogger

CAIRO - Egyptian secret police have arrested an award-winning Australian journalist and an Egyptian reporter for the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera channel on suspicion of illegally broadcasting news harming "domestic security", the interior ministry said.

Al-Jazeera confirmed the arrests in a statement and said police also detained a producer and a cameraman.

Officers of the National Security service raided their makeshift bureau at a Cairo hotel on Sunday, arresting two of the journalists and confiscating their equipment, the ministry said in a statement.

It did not identify the journalists, only mentioning that one was a "Muslim Brotherhood member" and the other an Australian.

Al-Jazeera English identified them as Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Adel Fahmy and Australian reporter Peter Greste.

It said producer Baher Mohamed and cameraman Mohamed Fawzi were also arrested on Sunday evening.

The raid came after authorities listed the Muslim Brotherhood movement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi as a "terrorist organisation", making membership in Islamist group or even possession of its literature a crime.

The journalists "broadcast live news harming domestic security," the interior ministry said, adding they were also found in possession of Muslim Brotherhood "publications".

Greste, a former BBC journalist, won the prestigious Peabody award in 2011 for a documentary on Somalia. Fahmy, who formerly worked with CNN, is a well-known journalist in Cairo with no known links to the Brotherhood.

Egypt's military-installed government cracked down on Al-Jazeera's affiliates following the overthrow of Morsi in July, accusing the broadcaster of pro-Brotherhood coverage.

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