Egypt: Journalist Shot Dead At Checkpoint

The Egyptian journalist who was shot dead in his vehicle at an army checkpoint after curfew on Monday night in Beheira did not defy the orders of the authorities, his colleague who was an eyewitness to the events told Aswat Masriya on Tuesday.

Al-Ahram Newspaper’s bureau chief in Beheira, Tamer Abdel Raouf, was returning home from an introduction meeting between the province’s new governor and journalists on Monday night when a checkpoint asked him to retreat in his car, said Hamed al-Barbary, the Al-Gomhoreya journalist who was with the victim when he was killed.

Barbary told Aswat Masriya that security forces opened fire on the car on the Cairo/Alexandria Road, killing Abdel Raouf with a shot in the head, even though he followed their instructions and turned the car around as they asked.

The eyewitness denied that the Al-Ahram journalist attempted to raid the checkpoint as some media outlets have reported.

He explained that the victim offered to drop off his colleagues to their homes after the meeting finished minutes before the curfew was to start.

When Abdel Raouf was killed, the car continued until it crashed into a streetlight pole, Barbary said, adding that they were both then transferred to Damanhour’s public hospital.

The prosecution is currently investigating the incident.

Egypt’s army spokesman said that Abdel Raouf violated the curfew instructions set by the state, and moved fast ignoring the calls made by the security forces to stop the car, which forced them to open fire.

Journalists are exempt from the curfew.

Egypt imposed a month-long state of emergency and dusk-to-dawn curfew last Wednesday following violence that swept the country in light of the interim government’s crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi.

The province’s Journalists Coalition has sent its condolences to Abdel Raouf’s family and released a statement asking top army commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to open an investigation with those responsible for the death.