30 Aug 2013

NZ Al Jazeera journalist detained in Egypt

9:49 am on 30 August 2013

A New Zealand journalist reporting for Al Jazeera is being detained in Egypt.

Wayne Hay.

Wayne Hay. Photo: Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera says Wayne Hay, a former Television New Zealand reporter, is one of a team of four arrested in Cairo on Tuesday.

Two other Al Jazeera personnel are also being held. One has been in custody since 14 August and the other for more than a month.

The channel said its offices were raided last month and equipment was seized. It is calling for Egypt to release its staff, along with their belongings and equipment.

A Radio New Zealand correspondent in Cairo said Al Jazeera is not saying much about the situation, as it is worried about a potential backlash.

Mr Hay is usually based in Bangkok.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said the arrests are part of a government crackdown on the domestic and foreign press.

Middle East and North Africa programme director Sherif Mansour said foreign media are accused of conspiring to support the Muslim Brotherhood, the party of President Mohammed Morsi who was ousted by the Army on 3 July.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade said New Zealand is liaising with other international embassies and has been in contact with the Egyptian authorities.