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BikyaMasr.com Editor-in-Chief Joseph Mayton detained by Egyptian military

Bikyamasr.com’s Editor-in-Chief Joseph Mayton was detained this morning while covering the escalating clashes between protesters and military.
Bikya Masr | 18.12.2011

Bikyamasr.com’s Editor-in-Chief Joseph Mayton was detained this morning while covering the escalating clashes between protesters and military personnel outside of Egypt’s Cabinet building.

As of the time of writing, Bikyamasr.com staff were in communication with US Embassy officials who are working to obtain Mayton’s immediate release.

The clashes between demonstrators and military forces, which began in the early morning of Friday, December 17, have escalated rapidly in the past 12 hours. At least 8 have been confirmed dead, with reports of over 300 injured.

Amongst the dead is cleric Emad Effat, a member of the Dar Al-Ifta religious authority. Al-Ahram reports that a funeral march for Effat has begun at Al-Azhar mosque, one the most important religious authorities in Sunni Islam.

Egyptian State TV cut its live broadcast of the confrontation around noon on Saturday, as military forces escalated the situation, using lethal force and large numbers to repel protestors.

BikyaMasr.com staff will continue to monitor this breaking story while working to assure the release of editor Joseph Mayton.

**Update: Joseph Mayton remains in detention as of 4:45pm on Saturday, December 17. According to Mayton, who spoke with BikyaMasr.com staff in a phone call moments ago, US Embassy officials are waiting on the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to grant permission to see him. They hope to be able to do so by early tomorrow morning, Mayton reported.

Mayton said that he was put in a headlock and slapped in the process of being detained. In a brief phone conversation with his wife, he said that he has been threatened with violence and was hit in the back and head. Military officials confiscated his camera memory cards and wiped the memory of his lap top, which was with him at the time of his arrest.

According to Mayton, the scene inside the detention center remains hectic.