Egyptian police arrested four journalists working for the broadcaster Al-Jazeera in Cairo on Sunday evening. The interior ministry alleged that the journalists had held illegal meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was officially labeled by the interim cabinet as a terrorist group on Dec. 25, reports the BBC. It also accused the Al-Jazeera journalists of broadcasting news that were “damaging national security.”
The reporters in custody are correspondent Peter Greste, producers Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed and cameraman Mohamed Fawzy.
The army ousted the former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi in July. Since then there have been clashes between pro-Morsi protesters and security forces.
Conditions have also reportedly deteriorated for journalists since Morsi’s removal, say human rights groups. New York-based Advocacy-group the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a report on Monday stating that Egypt was one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists to work in. Al-Jazeera is demanding the release of their four journalists.