Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about Summir Said, a young woman journalist working for the Reuters bureau in Cairo who is being harassed by the security services. Security agents made threats when they went to her home yesterday, saying she would regret it if she did not report at once to their headquarters in the south Cairo district of Lazoghly.
The authorities have made it clear to her that they have detailed information about her, including her trips abroad. She suspects her phone is being tapped but refuses to bow to the intimidation. She plans to go abroad again soon and fears she could be banned from leaving the country, which would obstruct her work as a journalist.
“This harassment is unacceptable, especially as this is not the first time that Said has been targeted by the security forces,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We will monitor her situation closely in the coming weeks.”
In 2003, Said was subjected to several lengthy interrogations by state security agents, who suspected her of being a spy. She was working for the Cairo Times at the time, while finishing her studies.
Said thinks the latest harassment is linked to enquiries she recently conducted for Reuters into the arrests by state security of activists suspected of belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.