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Brazilian Journalists in Cairo Detained, Blindfolded and Forced to Leave Egypt

Clashes in the streets of CairoSent to Egypt for the coverage of the political crisis in the country, Corban Costa, a reporter for Rádio Nacional and Gilvan Rocha from TV Brazil, both government news companies, were arrested, blindfolded and had their passports and equipment seized.

They spent the night without any water or food, locked in a room without windows and with only two chairs and a table in a Cairo police station.

“It’s a horrible feeling. We don’t know what’s going to happen. At first, I thought we would be shot by a firing squad because they put us facing a wall, but thank God this didn’t happen,” said Costa, who should fly back to Brazil with his colleague this Friday, February 4.

In order to be released, the two reporters were forced to sign a statement in Arabic, in which, according to the translation offered by the police both confirmed their willingness to immediately leave Egypt an fly to Brazil.

“We had to trust what the officer said, and sign the document,” Costa informed.

On the way from the police station to the Cairo airport, Corban said he noticed the tension in the streets and intense movement of military vehicles and demonstrators all over town.

He said all cars were being stopped at police checks and passengers and drivers had their documents searched. Foreigners are coerced to explain why they are in the country. According to the reporter, the taxi driver suggested that they omitted information they were  journalists.

For over a week now, Egypt is living moments of tension due to a wave of protests against Mubarak’s stay in the presidency. The situation worsened Tuesday, February 2, after demonstrators for and against the government clashed in the streets of major Egyptian cities.

According to the United Nations, more than 300 people have already died in clashes and some 3,000 have been injured.

ABr

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