The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Solidarity demo in London

Around 30 protestors assembled yesterday in front of the BBC World Service building in London, to express their solidarity with their Cairo colleagues, Dina Samak and Dina Gameel, who were assaulted by security agents and plainclothes thugs, on 25 May, 2006. The demo was called for by the British National Union of Journalists, to which the two Egyptian journalists belong. You can find a full report on Ahmad Zahran's blog.

The British Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has also sent a letter to the Egyptian Prosecutor-General, Maher 3abdel Wahed, condemning the assaults on journalists and protestors, and demanding the detainees' release..

31st May 2006

Counsellor Maher Abd al-Wahid

Public Prosecutor

Dar al-Qadha al- Ali

Ramses Street



Dear Mr al-Wahid

Attacks on Democracy Protestors and Media Workers
BECTU is the British Trade Union for technicians and production workers in the media and entertainment industries.  We wish to protest in the strongest possible terms about the recent actions of the Egyptian police in attacking and arresting demonstrators protesting peacefully against the Government’s threats of discipline and dismissal of judges - who spoke out against corruption, declared last year’s Presidential elections fraudulent and called for the independence of the judiciary.

As a media trade union, we are particularly concerned about the related attacks on media workers covering the protests, specifically including:

  -the attack by security men on cameraman Yasir Sulaiman,  who was repeatedly punched in the face and had his camera confiscated

   -the attack by plain clothes police on BBC Cairo producers Dina Samak and Dina Gameel, including the smashing of Dina Samak’s car as the police tried to pull our colleagues out of the vehicle.

We call for the immediate release of all those arrested and the end of attacks on media workers by security forces.

Yours sincerely


Assistant General Secretary

cc         H.E. Mr Gehad Refaat Madi

            Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt