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February 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Arab-American reporter Ayman Mohyeldin, an anchor for al-Jazeera English, was arrested by the Egyptian military and held for seven hours in Cairo on Sunday, the network said. Mohyeldin’s arrest was the latest in an apparently coordinated military effort to intimidate journalists in general, and al-Jazeera journalists in particular, who are covering the Egyptian protests. Earlier on Sunday, Sherine Tadro, another reporter for al-Jazeera English, was briefly detained by authorities. Mohyeldin, an Emmy-nominated former NBC and CNN journalist who is based in Gaza, has been on the air, sometimes for hours at a time, as one of the principal al-Jazeera English anchors in Cairo since the demonstrations began. He was previously arrested last week after the government attempted — unsuccessfully — to shut down al-Jazeera’s operations in the Egyptian capital and withdrew accreditation to the news network’s staff. However, on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s ambassador to the United States, denied that his government is attempting to silence journalists and promised “a full and wide investigation that will be transparent and that will find those responsible” for the attacks on journalists during the recent turmoil. He insisted that reports that the government itself was orchestrating the attacks were based on “assumptions,” not facts. During his interview with President Obama Sunday night, Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly thanked the president for intervening to secure the release of Fox News correspondent Greg Palkot and cameraman Olaf Wiig, who were beaten by pro-Mubarak crowds and arrested on Friday. “The State Department really saved them,” O’Reilly said.