Egypt: Veteran journalist dies after contracting Covid-19 in jail

Journalist Mohamed Mounir died on 15 July after contracting Covid-19 in jail, where he had spent a month after his arrest on 15 June. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today expressed its deepest sympathy for - and condolences to - Mounir's family, and demanded an independent investigation into the treatment of his health situation during his detention.

Mohamed Mounir, from the Facebook page "Remembering Mohamed Mounir"

65-year-old Mounir was arrested for "spreading fake news" during his reporting for Al Jazeera, which the Egyptian authorities have banned for allegedly hosting "enemies" of the country.

Mounir's family confirmed that he had contracted the virus. Initially, he was reportedly discharged from the hospital even though, as he wrote on his Facebook profile, he had suffered a stroke and a kidney failure, and his health was rapidly deteriorating. His daughter wrote that he was tested twice, with the last test coming out positive.

At the start of the Covid-19 crisis in the region, the IFJ called on the Egyptian authorities to release all journalists in jail. According to IFJ research, there are currently at least 37 journalists in jail in Egypt, who have been denied fair trial and due legal process.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "We mourn the passing of Mohamed Monir and express our deepest condolences to Mounir's family for their loss. This tragedy is all the more upsetting as it could have been avoided if Monir had been provided with proper care while in detention. We therefore urge the authorities to investigate the treatment he received for his condition. We also renew our call for the release of all journalists detained in Egypt for simply doing their job."

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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