International press freedom body, Reporters Without Borders (RWB), on Wednesday condemned what it said was a judicially-encouraged policy intimidation of journalists, including "citizen arrests" of a foreign reporter mistakenly accused of spying in Egypt.
"Reporters Without Borders condemn (the arrest) of Dutch journalists Rena Netjes on suspicion of spying on April 8," a statement here said.
The Dutch woman was subsequently released after 24 hours but was made to appear before a court and was charged with having forgotten to carry her press credentials on her.
RWB said her arrest was troubling as it was carried out by civilians in a cafe, who were following encouragements from Prosecutor-General Talaat Ibrahim, who has allegedly told citizens to cooperate with police and informed them they have the right to carry out "judicial arrests." Ibrahim denies he is encouraging civilians to act as police, although civilians did take part in the Dutch journalist's detention.
"This policy of intimidation towards media must stop," the press freedom body urged.
There have been a number of cases of attacks against foreign and local media in Egypt since eruption of the revolution two years ago.