Egypt: Two journalists arrested on terrorism charges

Egyptian journalists Hossam El-Sayed and Solafa Magdy have been arrested and charged with terrorism-related offences amid a crackdown on press freedom in the country. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the arrests and urges the authorities to stop attacks on the media and the arbitrary arrests of journalists.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Credits: Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP


Both journalists, who are married, were arrested in a café in El Cairo along with the lawyer Mohamed Salah on November 26 and went missing for over 15 hours.

According to AFP, which quotes a member of the journalists’ defense team, freelance journalist Magdy and her photojournalist husband El-Sayed were charged with being part of a terrorist group. Magdy was also charged with disseminating false news on her Facebook profile that could harm national security.

According to the same source, the two journalists and the lawyer will remain under arrest for up to 15 days, a situation that can be prolonged indefinitely. They alleged they had been tortured and mistreated by the authorities during questioning.

These arrests happened amid a new crackdown on Egyptian independent media. On November 23rd plain clothes officers arrested Shady Zalat, a journalist at the digital news site Mada Masr, without a judicial warrant. A few hours later, authorities raided the offices of the media arresting three journalists, including its editor, and confiscating working material. All the arrested journalists were released hours later.

Mada Masr, an independent media platform is banned in Egypt but accessible abroad.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “Egyptian journalists and media are facing growing threats and intimidation by authorities when they report freely and independently. We urge the Egyptian to immediately release all arrested journalists and stop its intimidation campaign against critical media in the country. Journalism is not a crime”.

For further information contact IFJ Middle East & Arab World on +32 (0) 2 235 22 11

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Find the Middle East and Arab World IFJ regional office on Twitter (in Arab): @IFJ_AR