Journalists Hisham Fouad and Hossam Mounes have been detained without trial since June 2019 and held under "terrorism" charges. At the time, several journalists and politicians planning to run for parliamentary elections were arrested by security forces and allegedly accused of “participating in terrorist activities”.
The journalists are reportedly held in poor conditions and have been denied visits and appropriate medical care.
Hossam Mounes worked for the Karama newspaper while Hisham Fouad was a columnist for Mada Masr and Masr-al Arabeya.
In July 2021, Hisham Fouad protested his arbitrary detention and the inhumane conditions under which he was being held by starting a hunger strike. As a result, he was moved into solitary confinement.
Journalists in Egypt face repetitive harassment, violence, and imprisonment for simply practising their job. In January this year, reporter Hamdi Atef Abdel Fattah and news editor Ahmed Khalifa were arrested on charges of spreading false news around workers' rights and joining terrorist organisations. In February, journalist Mahmoud Hussein was released after spending four years in jail without formal charges or a trial. In May, Tawfik Ghanem, former regional director of Turkish news agency Anadolu, was interrogated about his work as a journalist before being arrested on terrorism charges.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “Egyptian authorities have turned the country into the biggest jail for journalists in the region. We demand the immediate release of Hisham Fouad, Hossam Mounes, and all our colleagues currently held in prisons and to end all threats, harassment and intimidation against critical journalists and the media.”