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EGYPT: Authorities create new obstacles for journalists, media watchdog says

February 7, 2011 |  5:26 pm

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The Committee to Protect Journalists says Egyptian authorities are creating new obstacles for media workers, despite assurances that they are free to cover protests that have gripped the country for two weeks.

A number of journalists told the New York-based media watchdog that the military is obstructing their work and refusing many of them entry to Tahrir Square, the center of anti-government demonstrations. They say their press cards were confiscated and they were told to obtain new credentials from the Information Ministry,  CPJ said in a statement Monday.

"The sudden change in policy regarding press credentials is simply the latest effort to restrict the work of journalists, many of whom have already been beaten by mobs and detained by authorities," CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in the statement.

Journalists are also reporting that they have been mistreated while in custody. CPJ said it has documented at least 140 attacks on journalists and news facilities since Jan. 30.

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Photo: Protesters carry a coffin at a symbolic funeral Monday for Egyptian journalist Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud, who was shot while covering clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square a week ago and died of his injuries Friday. Credit: Ben Curtis/Associated Press

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