Aussie journo arrested in Egypt.
An Australian freelance journalist who writes regularly for publications including Crikey
, New Matilda
and The Drum
has been detained in Mahalla, Egypt and is likely to be deported. Austin Mackell was arrested along with three others "on suspicion that they had distributed cash to workers and incited them to take part in a strike demanding an end to army rule", reports Al Jazeera
. Mackell's Egyptian translator Aliya Alwi is one of those arrested -- along with US student Derek Ludovici and activist Kamal el-Fayoum. Alwi has been tweeting from police custody
"The guys from the station in the room w us were watching a guy being tortured on cellfone, and laughing. Passing it around to us."
"We were now transferred to another police station, confused. 3 witnesses testifying against are sitting across the room, includes an 8 yr old"
"We are being transferred to military intelligence in Tanta."
Her last tweet
was from late last night: "I just got my fone back, it seems they are releasing us soon." This morning activist Shahira Abouellail tweeted live updates from the police station where she went to help get the group of four out from police custody. Their charges were heard in court, where Abouellail noted that: "The witnesses are discrediting each other, it's such a joke. I'm not worried at all." According to Abouellalail, Austin is likely to be deported:
"Alya & Derrek 90% chance staying for 4days. Austin for sure getting deported. They tried to contact his embassy. But they were non responsive."
"Just spoke 2 australian embassy they will not send some1 now even tho I told them, if they do Austin will b released to them for deportation."
It seems Abouellail isn't the only one struggling to get help from the Australian Embassy. Austin's sister Hillier Mackell turned to Twitter
to plead for information of her brother from Abouellail: "I am Austin's sister, our govt knows nothing. please give me info." She later added: "Some reports of Austin being deported/released?? Any update appreciated. Again -- no word from embassy!!"
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said earlier this morning
they had spoken to Austin and he was unharmed: "He has confirmed he is being treated appropriately by local police authorities and that he intends to engage a legal representative." -- Amber Jamieson
Our papers mourn Whitney's death. Whitney Houston is dead at 48. We can only explain the tabloid-esque hysteria displayed by Australian newspapers today (with the exception of a notable few) on the -- dreaded -- "slow news day". Greece, Syria anyone?
The below front pages of Australian -- well, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) is an Aussie wedding favourite -- papers rival US tabloid giants such as the NY Post and NY Daily News. Meanwhile, other American papers gave Houston's death the sort of coverage it probably deserved ...