Newsbrief: Swiss journalists set free after being detained

by Nick Gonsalves

(Photo: Al Jazeera)

edited by Stephanie LeClair

A pair of Swiss journalists were recently being held by United Arab Emirates’ officials, following their coverage of the opening of the Abu Dhabi Louvre museum, according to Al Jazeera.

The journalists were held for a total of two days.

The two journalists, Serge Enderlin and cameraman Jon Bjorgvinsson, were covering the opening of the museum and later talked with the architect, Jean Novel. Things quickly changed when authorities detained the two journalists for taking photos at an open air market.

Enderlin and Bjorgvinsson were held by UAE security forces for more than 50 hours with no contact with the outside world. Interrogations were have said to lasted up to 10 straight hours.

The reason for the detainment of Enderlin and Bjorgvinsson was because authorities wanted to know why they were taking pictures of the market, and they were concerned about the portrayal of immigrant workers by the Swiss.

All of their equipment including cameras, computer, and storage discs were confiscated during their time in custody.

“We were separated, our phones and watches confiscated, and were put in total isolation,” said Bjorgvinsson in an interview with RTS. “They never hurt us, but their interrogations were tough and took a very long time,” he added.

The journalists were later released after signing what they believed to be a summary of the interrogation, but they could not tell as the whole thing was written in Arabic.

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