3 Sep 2013

Released journalist tells of jail 'torment'

10:45 am on 3 September 2013

A New Zealand journalist says he and his colleagues were constantly tormented by Egyptian police and military while being kept in a dilapidated cell for five days in Cairo.

Wayne Hay and three of his Al Jazeera colleagues were released by Egyptian authorities on Monday after five days in detention in Cairo.

The broadcaster says three other colleagues are still being held.

Wayne Hay.

Wayne Hay. Photo: Al Jazeera

There have been reports of a crackdown on Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt because the authorities perceive their reports favour the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mr Hay told Morning Report he was kept in a cell at a police station that had recently been ransacked by Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

He says he was subjected to insults from police and military guards.

"They would wave their fingers at us in disgust if you like, the fact that we were working for Al Jazeera. They were very keen to voice their opinion about Al Jazeera and the fact that we shouldn't really be there and we shouldn't be trying to interfere," says Mr Hay.

He says got the feeling the authorities were trying to "spin out" the group's time in captivity and frustrate them as much as possible.