Egypt: Two women journalists targeted

Journalists Hala Fahmy and Safaa Al-Korbaji have been targeted by security services after launching a campaign against its interference in the work of National Media Commission (NMC).

On the left journalist Safaa Al-Korbeji (Credits: Albawaba Media) and on the right journalist Hala Fahmy (Credits: Middle East Eye).

Egyptian security forces arrested Al-Korbaji and are searching for Fahmy. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls for the immediate release of the detained journalist and for the security services to end the hunt for Fahmy. 

Broadcaster Fahmy posted a video during the week of 7 March which she recorded during a live broadcast outside the Maspero Building, the headquarters of the NMC (previously known as the Egyptian Radio and Television Union - the public broadcaster), in which she warned of a "hell" ahead. She also complained about attempted aggression by the building's security officers. 

A week earlier, Al-Korbaji released another video in which she lambasted Egyptian intelligence attempts to control the NMC, which is the heart of Egypt's state media. 

In this video, she called on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to save the journalists of the national broadcaster from attacks by the building's security, which she said uses thugs to target them. The clip became popular on social media. 

On 21 April, Al-Korbaji was arrested after she posted another video criticising the invasion of Israeli forces into Sinai. 

Egyptian media admitted that security forces arrested Al-Korbaji on the morning of 21 April, but were unable to arrest Hala Fahmy because she was not at home at the time of the raid.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "The Egyptian authorities have turned the country into the biggest prison for journalists in the region. We call for an end to all threats, harassment and intimidation against independent journalists and the media in Egypt and for the authorities to free all jailed journalists". 

The IFJ welcomed the release on Sunday 24 April of 41 political prisoners held in pre-trial detention, including journalist Mohamed Salah who already spent almost two and a half years in pre-trial detention.  According to the IFJ records, there are currently 23 journalists in jail in Egypt.

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

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