Calls Grow for Release of Dozens Journalists Jailed in Egypt

A number of human rights organizations on Tuesday called for the immediate release of all journalists jailed in Egypt in the line of duty.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said it fully supports the call of humanitarian organizations to release at least 23 journalists, media workers, and activists detained for exercising their right to express their opinion on news articles and social media.

IFJ urged the release all journalists and condemned the Egyptian authorities for their repressive practices, 

On Monday, seven human rights organizations have called for the immediate release of journalists, media workers, and blamed Egyptian authorities for allegedly using terrorism charges to prosecute those who criticize the government.

The IFJ said that several jailed journalists were suffering from health problems and needed appropriate medical care.

Tawfiq Ghanem, a retired Egyptian journalist was arrested on May 21 2021 on charges of allegedly joining terrorist group. In May this year, IFJ expressed concern over Ghanem’s fate.

The IFJ also said that the health condition of Rabie el-Sheikh, who worked as a producer for Al Jazeera has deteriorated in the past days after a year in solitary confinement.

Egyptian forces arrested El Sheikh in August 2021 in Cairo Airport upon his arrival to visit his family. He has been accused of allegedly spreading false news.

“These detentions are part of a pattern of arbitrary arrests of Egyptian journalists, activists, academics, and critics,” IFJ Secretary General Anthony Bellanger said. 

Bellanger stated that Egyptian authorities have turned the country into the biggest prison for journalists in the region.

Calling for release of detained journalists, Bellanger called on Egyptian authorities to stop targeting journalists.

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