Joseph Mayton 11 February 2012
"CAIRO: An Australian journalist and his Egyptian translator have been arrested in the Nile Delta city of Mahallah on Saturday. As of Saturday evening, the two had been charged with “incitement” and had been transferred to the prosecutor’s office.
Austin Mackell and Aliya Alwi had been covering the protests taking place in the northern Egyptian town – the flashpoint of protests in 2008 – as part of the general strike that began on Saturday in Egypt when the military police arrested them.
Alwi reported at 7 PM local time that they had been transferred to the military prosecution in Tanta, about an hour north of Cairo. Many online referred to this change as “worrying.”
Mackell, an Australian national and journalist based in Egypt has written extensively from Egypt, having been published in major international newspapers and publications including The Guardian UK. The pair have worked together regularly in Egypt.
Alwi, still able to send messages on her Twitter account as of early Saturday evening, wrote “Report against us, filed now. Many witnesses saw us ‘offering money to youth to vandalize and cause chaos’.”
Their situation is being monitored closely by fellow media professionals and activists in the country, who have condemned the military’s use of violence and intimidation against media personnel in recent months.
Shortly before their arrest, the vehicle they were riding in was attacked, glass broken and Alwi was called a “whore,” she wrote on Twitter."