Abdel Nasser Salama was a columnist and editor-in-chief of the Al-Ahram newspaper and was detained following a social media post where he expressed his views on the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, calling on him to resign for his mishandling negotiations with Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam on the Nile River.
He is now being held on charges of "financing terrorism" and "spreading false news". The trial regarding this case is still pending and the journalist is reportedly held in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison.
Relatives of the journalist told the IFJ of their concerns about his deteriorating physical and mental health, adding that he may not be receiving medical care he needs while in prison. Moreover, the Egyptian authorities didn't allow Abdel Nasser to contact his family and lawyer since his detention.
Egypt is known for their practice of jailing journalists on groundless charges in retaliation for their reporting or opinion on social media. Journalists are frequently detained on false charges for extended periods of time, with additional charges being brought in to justify the time spent in detention. The IFJ and other media organisations have condemned this policy, which is commonly known in Egypt as “recycling”, in the past.
According to IFJ's records, there are currently at least 27 journalists and media workers jailed in Egyptian prisons.
The Secretary General of the IFJ said: “Abdel Nasser Salama is only being held for expressing his views and we fear for his current health conditions.We urge the Egyptian authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally. The IFJ will continue pushing for the release of the dozens of arrested journalists in Egypt for simply doing their job.”