On Thursday, Al Jazeera announced four of its journalists are being held by Egyptian security forces in Cairo. The Qatar-based news network said that correspondent Wayne Hay, cameraman Adil Bradlow, and producers Russ Finn and Baher Mohammed were reporting in Cairo when they were arrested by Egyptian authorities on Tuesday as part of “a campaign against Al Jazeera in particular.”
The network also cited raids of its studios and seizure of its equipment by Egyptian authorities as evidence of the coordinated effort against the broadcaster. According to the AP, 28 Al Jazeera staffers were detained and later released last month, when the Al Jazeera Mubashir Misr Cairo office was raided and closed.
The AP also reported on Thursday Egypt’s interim government called a local Al Jazeera affiliate “a national threat” and is “moving closer to banning its broadcasts beamed from Qatar after the affiliate aired recordings of declarations by fugitive leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The network has come under fire, facing allegations that its coverage has been biased in support of the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Here’s one example of alleged bias, reported on by NPR:
The network’s Live Egypt channel went to a split screen. The pro-Morsi areas of Cairo were almost always shown as full. The anti-Morsi areas were shown as empty. It was later revealed that the anti-Morsi areas were usually packed — Al-Jazeera just showed them at the times of day that they were empty.
In the days following the overthrow of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, 22 Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt resigned because of what they felt was the network’s deliberately pro-Morsi coverage.