The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Friday condemned the closure of media stations in Egypt and demanded the immediate release of any media staff who have been detained.
The IFJ in a statement noted that, Egyptian military forces raided the Cairo offices of Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr, on Wednesday night, disrupting its live broadcast. Twenty seven members of staff were detained, with most released later. However, the channel says its managing director, Ayman Gaballah, remains in custody.
Quoting the Egyptian state news agency MENA, the statement said that Misr25, the Muslim Brotherhood's television station, was taken off the air hours after President Morsi was forced to step down.
It noted that the state-run Al-Ahram and the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party said two other pro-Morsi channels, the Salafi-affiliated Al-Hafiz and Al-Nas, also went off the air at that time.
"We are deeply concerned by these reports," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.
"Media offices should not be subject to raids and cannot be closed by authorities based on their own political agenda. We call for any journalists who have been detained following the raids to be released with immediate effect. They have committed no crime and should not be detained for informing the public," he said in a statement.
"Regardless of political views, the right to freedom of expression in Egypt must be respected and upheld. We urge the Egyptian military not to deprive Egyptians of information sources during this important period," he added.
The Brussels-based IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries.