Brussels to host biggest jailer of journalists in Africa

Africa's biggest jailer of journalists, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, will visit Brussels to attend the European Union – Africa summit on 17 and 18 February 2022. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on EU leaders and the Belgian Prime Minister to speak out against Al-Sisi’s repression of journalists and media in Egypt.

Ursula von der Leyen meets Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. François WALSCHAERTS / AFP

According to IFJ statistics, there are currently 27 journalists and media workers in Egyptian prisons for simply doing their job, making the country the biggest jailer of journalists and repressor of media freedom in the region.

The Egyptian government also usually holds jailed journalists in poor conditions and denies them basic rights such as visits and appropriate medical care, which are blatant violations of Egypt's own constitution and international conventions on the right to freedom of expression and due legal process

Egypt is renowned for 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".

During his visit to Brussels, Al-Sisi will meet top EU leaders and officials and the Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander de Croo, to discuss common strategies and investment plans until 2030.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger said: EU and Belgian leaders have an unparalleled opportunity to send an unequivocal message to Al-Sisi that Europe will not cooperate with his government until they stop repressing the media. Any agreement with Egypt must be conditional on the immediate release of all jailed journalists and must include press freedom clauses that guarantee the fundamental rights of Egyptian media workers. Otherwise, the summit will help the Egyptian regime to whitewash its international image and continue to repress journalists with impunity”.

This is the list of current jailed journalists in Egypt:

1.     SHAIMA SAAMI - Freelance journalist arrested on 30/05/2020

2.     MOSTAFA SAKER - Sputnik News/Cairo Journalist arrested on 25/06/2019

3.     HOSSAM MOANIS -  Al-Karama Newspaper Journalist arrested on 25/06/2019

4.     SAYED ABD ELLAH - Freelance photographer arrested on 22/09/2019

5.     AHMED SHAKER - Rose El-Yousef Newspaper Journalist arrested on 28/11/2019

6.     HAMDI MOKHTAR (EZZAIM)) - Freelance photographer arrested on 05/01/2021

7.     AHMED ALLAM -  Freelance journalist arrested on 24/04/2020

8.     KHALED GHONEIM – Journalist arrested on 21/04/2021

9.     HISHAM ABDEL AZIZ - Al Jazeera Journalist arrested on 20/06/2021

10.  MOSTAFA AL-KHATEEB - Associated Press / Cairo Reporter arrested on 13/10/2019

11.  MOHAMED OXYGENE - Freelance photographer arrested on 08/10/2019

12.  TAOUFIK GHONEIM - Anadolu Agency Journalist arrested on 21/05/2021

13.  KARIM IBRAHIM - Bawaba news Journalist arrested on 22/09/2019

14.  ABDELLAH SAMIR IBRAHIM - Producer /Freelance Journalist arrested on 22/09/2019

15.  MEDHAT RAMADAN ALI BARGHOUT - Shababik News Journalist arrested on 24/05/2020

16.  MOHAMED SAID FAHEMI - Alwatan Newspaper Journalist arrested on 31/05/2018

17.  BAHA EDDIN IBRAHIM - Al Jazeera Journalist arrested on 22/02/2020

18.  HANI JRISHA - Youm 7 Journalist arrested on 26/08/2020

19.  AMER ABDUL MONEM - Ech-Chaab Newspaper Journalist arrested on 29/02/2020

20.  AHMED SABA'A - Journalist arrested on 29/02/2020

21.  BADER MOHAMED BADER - Afak Arabya Newspaper Journalist arrested on 30/03/2017

22.  ABDEL NASSER SALAM - Al-Ahram Newspaper Journalist arrested on 18/07/2021

23.  ASHRAF HAMDI - Cartoonist arrested on 25/01/2021

24.  RABIE AL-SHEIKH - Al Jazeera Journalist arrested on 01/08/2021

25.  ALIA AOUAD - Rasd News Journalist arrested on 23/10/2017

26.  AHMED ABOU ZIED AL-TABOUBU- Al-Dyar Newspaper Journalist arrested on 03/02/2021

27.  ISMAIL AL-ISKANDARANI - Journalist arrested on 29/11/2015

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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