Egypt: Former journalist Tawfik Ghanem must be released immediately

Retired journalist Tawfik Ghanem was arrested on 21 May for allegations of terrorism. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) denounces his arbitrary detention, and demands the immediate release of the veteran journalist, who suffers from ill health and needs urgent treatment.

Tawfik Ghanem

Tawfik Ghanem, former regional director of the Turkish news agency Anadolu, was arrested at his home on 21 May. He was interrogated on his former journalistic work, political views and information gathering methods before being arrested on terrorism charges.

On 26 May, the Egyptian authorities announced that he would be held in pre-trial detention for a period of 15 days. His detention can be automatically renewed every 15 days until he is brought to court or released.

Today, Tawfik Ghanem remains in prison and his health is deteriorating. The 66-year-old suffers from diabetes and requires daily medication. According to his family, Ghanem's whereabouts are unknown, and they fear that he does not have access to his medication.

The IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We demand the immediate release of the journalist, and that everything be done to ensure that he receives all the care necessary to preserve his health. This arbitrary detention is a serious violation of press freedom and human rights.”

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