Egypt journalists protest against arrests

CAIRO - Egypt's journalists' union has demanded the dismissal of the interior minister after two journalists were arrested at its headquarters in Cairo overnight.

The union also called for a sit-in to protest against the security forces' "blatant barbarism and aggression on the dignity of the press".

The interior ministry has denied the union was raided, but confirmed the arrests of the journalists.

Amr Badr and Mahmoud al-Sakka are accused of inciting protests.

The two men work for the website Bawabet Yanayer (January Gate), which is critical of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi's government.

In a statement issued on Monday morning, the journalists' union condemned what it called a "raid by security forces whose blatant barbarism and aggression on the dignity of the press and journalists and their syndicate has surprised the journalistic community and the Egyptian people".

It called for an "open-ended" sit-in outside the union's headquarters running at least until a general assembly meeting on Wednesday.

Dozens of people gathered on the steps of the building, chanting "journalists are not terrorists", the Associated Press reported.

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