Egypt: IFJ supports call from human rights organisations to release all imprisoned journalists

At least 23 journalists and media workers are imprisoned in Egypt for simply carrying out their professional duties according to IFJ statistics. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has backed a call from human rights organisations on August 2, condemning the Egyptian authorities for their repressive practices and urging them to release all journalists in jail.

Demonstrators hold a banner stating "Journalist is staying and the tyrants are on the demise' in a protest in Cairo. Credits: Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Seven human rights organisations have called for the immediate release of journalists, media workers and activists detained for exercising their right to express their opinion on news articles and social media. The signatories call on the Egyptian authorities to stop using terrorism charges to prosecute those who criticise the government.

Among the journalists currently in jail, several suffer from health problems and need appropriate medical care. In May this year, the IFJ expressed its concern about the fate of Tawfiq Ghanem, a retired Egyptian journalist arrested on 21 May 2021 on charges of allegedly joining a terrorist group. The IFJ is also concerned about the health of journalist Rabie el-Sheikh, who worked as a producer for Al Jazeera. His health has deteriorated in the past days after a year in solitary confinement, reports the Qatar-based network. El Sheikh was arrested in August 2021 in Cairo Airport on a visit to his family and accused of allegedly spreading false news. The Egyptian authorities have renewed his detention by 45 days holding him incarcerated without trial or charge for a year.

“These detentions are part of a pattern of arbitrary arrests of Egyptian journalists, activists, academics, and critics” says the IFJ Secretary General Anthony Bellanger. “The Egyptian authorities have turned the country into the biggest prison for journalists in the region. We urge the Egyptian authorities to stop targeting the press and release all arrested journalists without delay.”

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

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