The United Nations on Thursday demanded the release of four Anadolu Agency employees detained during a raid on agency’s office in Cairo.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said his colleagues were speaking with Egyptian officials “at various levels” and urging them to adhere to global human rights treaties.
“We are aware of the reports that Egyptian security forces raided Anadolu offices in Cairo and reportedly arrested four journalists, including one Turkish national. They’ve been detained in an unknown location,” Dujarric told reporters in New York of the raid Tuesday.
“We are concerned about these developments as well as about the whereabouts and welfare of those who have been detained.”
As a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Egypt is obliged protest the interests of journalists who are only doing their job, said Dujarric.
“Freedom of expression plays a central role in the effective functioning of a democratic political system,” said the UN spokesman.
“We call for the release of anyone who is detained. We would want to see them released or at least as a minimum have information as to their whereabouts.”
Ankara condemned the raid and called for the immediate release of the four detainees.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a media watchdog, the Middle East is one of the world’s worst regions for media freedoms, with broad restrictions on newspapers and other media outlets and widespread harassment and detention of reporters./aa