Egyptian Armed Men Interrupt Alhurra’s Live Program in Cairo

During the clashes between the Egyptian Military and Coptic demonstrators on Sunday, Oct. 9th, armed men in uniforms entered Alhurra’s Cairo studios during its live broadcast of its nightly news magazine show Al Youm.  The program was broadcasting live reports on the violent clashes between Copt demonstrators and soldiers in nearby Maspero.  The armed men, brandishing automatic weapons, searched the studio, harassed staff, and disrupted the broadcast as the audience watched the events live.  The clashes took place right outside of the building that houses Alhurra’s studios. The men said they were looking for a protester who had killed an army officer. When leaving they terminated the live broadcast.

This is a recording of the incident as it was seen by the Alhurra audience (English subtitles were added). The clip starts in the middle of a live phone interview with footage of the clashes and you can hear the Al Youm anchor, Amr Khalil, reacting to the intrusion. Although the police aren’t visible in the picture, about 30 seconds into the video you can hear one of the soldiers chambering a round in front of the anchor. The anchor eventually returns to his interview, then about 10 minutes later he was told to end the broadcast and the cable to the camera filming him was eventually pulled.

No one on Alhurra’s staff was hurt and the show was live from Cairo the next day.

Both Reporters without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists have condemned the attack.