Another Egyptian journalist detained on unknown charges

December 1, 2015

Khadeega Gafar

Ismail’s wife, Khadeega Gafar, rings alarm bell [Khadeega Gafar]

Ismail Alexandrani was detained after flying back from Berlin, where he attended counter-terror summit. The Egyptian investigative journalist and human rights activist was arrested after being questioned at Hurghada International Airport, his wife said, adding that the accusations or charges against him have still not been revealed.

 

Since 2013, Egyptian authorities have cracked down on freedom of expression after the ouster of Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Angelita Baeyens, programmes director at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organisation in Washington DC, said that Egypt’s crackdown on free speech is of “deep concern”.”Although the charges against Alexandrani, if any, and the particular circumstances of his detention have not yet been made clear,” she said, “the ongoing harassment of activists, independent journalists, and human rights defenders in Egypt remains a deep concern and raises serious questions about the country’s commitment to respecting the rights of its citizens to freedom of expression and association.”

Some members of the Muslim Brotherhood attended [the Berlin conference], but Ismail is critical of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Khadeega Gafar said “The security services know this. He’s criticised them [the Muslim Brotherhood] on social media. he is anti-Muslim Brotherhood”

A state security prosecution hearing is expected in New Cairo on Tuesday morning, added Gafar, who is in touch with human rights organisations and lawyers. “How can I express how I am feeling? I am not in a good state,” she said. “I am not in communication with him, so every piece of information comes to me with a contradiction. I have no life for now. It’s just about finding out where he is, whether he is OK, and what he is accused of.”

According to Human Rights Watch, more than 3,700 civilians have been charged in military courts since October 2014, when President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi expanded the jurisdiction of military courts for a two-year period. Many of those civilians were charged in the military courts “for acts related to protesting and [alleged affiliation with] the Muslim Brotherhood”.

Source: Award-winning Egyptian reporter held on unknown charges

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