Journalist detained 15 days for filming Helwan Brigades video
Helwan Brigades video - Courtesy: YouTube screen shot

State Security Prosecution decided to detain journalist Alya Awad for 15 days, pending investigation into accusations that she filmed the “Helwan Brigades” video, state-owned Al-Ahram news portal reported on Thursday.

The journalist, who works for the pro-Muslim Brotherhood group Rassd News Network RNN, was arrested late Wednesday evening and faces accusations of joining a terrorist organization, working with others to film and distribute a video aiming to frighten citizens and threatening public order.

Awad denied all accusations against her in the investigations, which continued for ten hours, according to Al-Ahram.

The group posted a video on YouTube that went viral, featuring 12 masked men with guns threatening retaliation against Egypt’s security apparatus.

In the video, the group promised to kill, rape and rob, saying, “We are tired of the Brotherhood’s peaceful protests.” The men went on to say that they love Egypt and that they used to be peaceful, but were coerced into violence in response to police brutality.

“No peaceful protest with the Ministry of Interior,” the purported group members chanted toward the end of the three-minute video.

The video was initially posted by RNN. Mada Masr could not verify its authenticity. 

Ten of the men in the video were allegedly arrested by security forces, according to Interior Ministry statements.

In an interview with Youm7 privately owned newspaper hours before her arrest, Awad said she had to leave her home in Helwan with her mother after she found out that police forces were searching for her. “If I stayed home, any of those who appeared would tell on me from the first slap on the face,” she said, according to Youm7.

Youm7 showed screen shots of her Facebook page, where she almost confessed that she was part of the group in the video. Mada Masr could not verify the screen shots as the profile no longer exists on the social networking site.

The newspaper also published what it alleged are details of a State Security investigation into the case, but the Chief Editor Khaled Salah and the newspaper’s Managing Editor Mahmoud al-Mamlouk were both summoned by the prosecution for publishing false news. Both were released after long hours of interrogation.


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