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Muslim Brotherhood Targeting Journalists as Anti-Government Protests Near

The Egyptian government appears divided as the country rushes toward the June 30th anniversary of Mohammed Morsi’s election as Egypt’s president, during which anti-government rallies are planned across the country:

Egypt’s defence and interior ministers have turned down a proposal by President Mohamed Morsi to prepare security forces for a possible declaration of a state of emergency should planned 30 June anti-government demonstrations turn violent, government sources told Ahram Online on Thursday.

Meanwhile Morsi supporters promise to conduct counter-demonstrations, and have already begun mobilizing. Today tens of thousands of supporters crowded near Morsi’s presidential palace, holding up pictures of the president and shouting Islamist supremacist slogans. Observers fear that violence may erupt on June 30th between the opposing camps.

Even without a state of emergency, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood-linked government has been cracking down on journalists for attempting to document abuses and unrest being stoked by Brotherhood members:

News accounts reported that Islam al-Khayat, correspondent for news website Veto, and Mosaad Abu Shami, reporter for the state-run daily Ahram El-Messaei, were beaten by who they said were supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Al-Gharbiya governorate. The reports said the journalists were covering assaults on protesters by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood… Mahmod Mala, reporter for Al-Watan, and Doaa Abouel Nasr, correspondent for Al-Fager, said they were threatened and beaten with sticks by Waheed Hassan, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Assiut Governorate, while covering a protest by teachers demanding employment contracts.

The unpopularity of the sitting government has bled into the views Egyptians have of elites more generally.

[Photo: Gigi Ibrahim / Flickr]