CAIRO (AP) — A distinguished Egyptian journalist who reported on a younger man’s dying in police custody has been detained on costs of reporting faux information, his employer mentioned Friday, the newest blow to press freedoms within the nation.
The arrest of journalist Islam el-Kalhy comes after the arrest of a number of different native reporters in current weeks, regardless of fears of the unfold of the coronavirus in Egyptian prisons.
The federal government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has squeezed area for conventional media retailers and stamped out almost all dissent as a part of a wide-ranging crackdown. The content material of state-owned media is tightly managed, whereas most privately owned information media within the nation has been acquired by Egyptian intelligence companies or supporters of el-Sissi.
The Inside Ministry didn’t reply to requests for remark. Egyptian authorities prior to now have denied rights violations and justified arrests on grounds of nationwide safety.
El-Kalhy was picked up by police “whereas he was doing his work,” mentioned his employer, Darb, a information outlet owned by a socialist opposition get together in Egypt. He was forcibly disappeared for 24 hours earlier than surfacing Thursday on the public prosecutor’s workplace, the place he was ordered detained for 15 days on costs of broadcasting faux information.
He had been reporting on the “repercussions” of a younger man’s dying in detention, the outlet mentioned, a contested case that touched off a uncommon burst of road protests earlier this week. The household of the 26-year-old detainee accuses the police of killing him, which the Inside Ministry denies. The general public prosecutor insists the person who died had been wounded in clashes stemming from a monetary dispute in Cairo’s Moneib district.
The spontaneous road protests outdoors the police station have been swiftly dispersed, however extra broadly evoked the outrage over police brutality that helped spark the 2011 rebellion that toppled Egypt’s longtime autocrat, President Hosni Mubarak. Demonstrations have been banned since 2013, when el-Sissi led the navy’s overthrow of Mohammed Morsi, a democratically elected however divisive Islamist president, amid mass protests towards his rule.
Khaled el-Balshy, editor-in-chief of Darb and former syndicate board member, vigorously denounced the arrest of el-Kalhy.
“It’s a depressing scenario to the purpose the place doing journalistic work is extra like committing a criminal offense,” he mentioned. Authorities censors have blocked Darb, in addition to his two earlier publications, from straightforward web entry throughout the nation, he mentioned.
“The lengthy line of imprisoned Egyptian journalists doesn’t finish,” mentioned el-Balshy. “On a regular basis one other is added, the newest of which is my pricey colleague.”
Egypt is ranked among the many world’s worst jailers of journalists, together with Turkey and China, in response to the Committee to Shield Journalists, a U.S.-based watchdog.