Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

US journalist detained in Egypt

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on April 10, 2008

From Talking Points Memo and Pakinam Amer, AP

An American freelance journalist said he and his Egyptian translator were detained Thursday while reporting on unrest in northern Egypt where economic riots broke out earlier this week.

James Buck spoke to The Associated Press by cell phone from inside a police station in Mahalla el-Kobra, an industrial city were laborers and activists have been demonstrating against high food prices and low wages.

“We were just in the main square taking pictures. … Police came and started chasing us,” Buck said before the phone line was cut off. It was unclear whether police knew he had a cell phone.

He said police detained him as he was taking photos of families on a hunger strike and had been interrogated for about 45 minutes. He had not been harmed, he said.

Buck is a freelance journalist, photographer and graphic designer. His work is also circulated among rights activists in Egypt.

Egyptian security officials were not immediately available to comment on his detention.

A U.S. Embassy official, speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with regulations, said embassy officials had heard reports of Buck’s detention and were investigating.

Thousands of Egyptians have been rioting this week in Mahalla, a Nile Delta city that is home to the Middle East’s largest textile factory. Rising prices have struck hard in Egypt, a U.S. ally where 40 percent of the people live in or near poverty.

James Buck’s Website

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