NUJ protest over attack on BBC journalists in Egypt

The National Union of Journalists is to hold a demonstration outside Bush House in London on Monday, 5 June, in support of two BBC producers — both members of the union — who it claims were attacked after covering a meeting of the general assembly of the Journalists' Syndicate in Cairo.

The union said the attack on Dina Samak and Dina Gameel, who had been covering the event in the Egyptian capital for the BBC Arabic Service, took place at 5pm on 25 May as they were leaving the syndicate's garage accompanied by another journalist from a weekly newspaper, Gihan Saaban, and a young trainee, Karim Al Shaer.

It claims security agents outside the building pointed at their car and in less than a minute a taxi turned up and blocked the way.

The NUJ said today: "About five thugs got out and surrounded the vehicle. Around 15 to 20 more thugs came from both sides of the street and started hitting the car, breaking the windscreen and a side window while swearing and shouting.

"They tried to drag Dina Samak out of the car and succeeded in grabbing Gihan Saaban.

While Karim Al Shaer was shouting and trying to defend her they took him out of the car, beat him in the street and put him in a police car. At this moment, a number of judges and journalists rushed out of the building and the thugs left."

On the advice of the Journalists' Syndicate, the journalists went to file a complaint at the Maarouf police station in Cairo. The NUJ said were kept waiting for over two hours and when they finally were seen, police refused to register their complaint. On 27 May, the Journalists' Syndicate lodged a formal complaint with the Attorney General about the incident.

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