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Cape Town - Counter-terrorism unit members forced cameraman Adil Bradlow and three colleagues to the ground, pointed guns at them and cocked the weapons.
He and his colleagues had earlier been blindfolded and robbed after being detained at a military checkpoint in Egypt a week ago.
“Being blindfolded was kind of rough... We were in and out of vehicles... Moved from room to room for questioning,” Bradlow told the Cape Times from Britain on Monday.
He was expected to arrive in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Bradlow, an award-winning photographer and cameraman, had been part of an Al Jazeera news team when he was detained in Egypt with his colleagues Wayne Hay, Baher Mohammed and Russ Finn last week.
They were released on Sunday after six days in detention.
Bradlow, who previously lived in Cape Town and now lives in Johannesburg, Hay and Finn were deported to Britain.
Mohammed, who received his contract to work at Al Jazeera two days before the ordeal started, was from Egypt and remained there where he would face charges.
Bradlow had meant to cover events in Egypt, where hundreds of people have been killed in violence between that country’s armed forces and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
On Monday, Bradlow described how on the third day he had been in Egypt, he and his colleagues had been to Helwan, an area south of Cairo, where gunmen had stormed a police station, killing 34 people and freeing prisoners.
“We were arrested on the way back (after getting the footage we needed). We were picked up at a military checkpoint... When we were first picked up we were blindfolded and robbed of all our personal effects,” he said.
Equipment, cellphones and his wedding ring were among the items stolen.
Bradlow said he and his colleagues were handed over to military intelligence officers, then police, then the counter-terrorism unit, whom he described as “the shock crew”.
“They put us down on the floor... cocked their guns and basically went on a tirade (aimed at Mohammed),” he said.
Bradlow and his colleagues initially faced espionage charges, then charges for having illegal equipment and then for illegal body armour.
“We had stab vests in the car,” Bradlow said, explaining it was legal to have these.
Bradlow and his colleagues were eventually put back in the hands of police who were “pretty professional”.
He, Hay and Finn were deported without charge.