CAIRO — The Egyptian military detained a correspondent for Al-Jazeera's English-language news channel for seven hours in Cairo on Sunday, said the network, which has been targeted repeatedly throughout the unrest in Egypt.
Ayman Mohyeldin, an American citizen, was detained near Tahrir Square, where protests calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak continued for a 13th day. He was released seven hours later, the channel said.
Pressure on news media covering the crisis intensified last week, as pro-government mobs armed with sticks attacked Egyptian and foreign journalists as well as human rights workers and others observing and recording the violent scenes.
Dozens have been detained, sometimes for several days. One journalist, an Egyptian reporter, has been killed in the protests, dying Friday of gunshot wounds.
The Emmy-nominated Mohyeldin is the station's Egypt corespondent and has previously covered the Gaza war.
On Friday, the Qatar-based network said its offices in Cairo were set ablaze, along with the equipment inside it, and its website hacked. The station announced later that day that security forces arrested its Cairo bureau chief, Abdel-Fattah Fayed, and correspondent Ahmed Youssef.
The previous week, Al-Jazeera said its bureau was forcibly closed, all its journalists had press credentials revoked, and nine journalists were detained. The station has had trouble staying on air, due to high levels of interference in its broadcast signal. Al-Jazeera's live Arabic-language channel was unreachable on some satellites during the height of some of the protests.
The Egyptian government said last week that reports of "an official policy against international media" were false, and that violence against journalists was unacceptable.
"International media have been, and are always, welcome in Egypt," said the state-run Cairo Press Center, which oversees media accreditation. It said more than 1,000 international journalists were in the country.
"Regrettably, international journalists have been endangered by the same conditions that have threatened all Egyptians in areas of the country where there have been major disturbances and a breakdown of security," the center said.