Al Jazeera reported Monday that four of its journalists were arrested late Sunday night in Cairo. Security forces are holding them in custody for being in possession of Muslim Brotherhood publications and making “live broadcasts of news that harms domestic security, spreading rumours and “>false news to the Qatari Al Jazeera channel without permits,” according to a statement by Egypt’s Interior Ministry.
The arrests come days after the Egyptian government designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, making holding membership and carrying literature by the Brotherhood a crime.
In a statement published on their website, the Qatar-based Al Jazeera demanded the release its employees, correspondent Peter Greste, producers Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed and cameraman Mohamed Fawzy.
The Egyptian government, however, contends that only two journalists had been arrested and did not identify the names or nationalities of those in custody.
Al Jazeera’s offices in Cairo have been closed since July 3, when former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was deposed in a military coup.
As of Dec. 1, there has beenfive other journalists imprisoned in Egypt, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 2013 prison census.
The same report stated that worldwide there were 211 journalists put in jail in 2013.