New York, April 18, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest in Cairo of a blogger who has exposed torture in Egyptian police stations and prisons. Authorities detained Abdel Moneim Mahmoud on Sunday on charges that he belongs to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and that he defamed the government with his reporting.
State security officers arrested Mahmoud, 27, who is also correspondent for the London-based Arabic-language Al-Hiwar TV channel, as he was flying out of Cairo International Airport at 1 a.m., his lawyer, Islam Lutfi, told CPJ today. Mahmoud was traveling on assignment for Al-Hiwar TV.
At the direction of the attorney general, a local prosecutor ordered Mahmoud detained for 15 days pending an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood charge, Lutfi added.
“We are outraged by the detention of Abdel Moneim Mahmoud and call for his immediate release,” Executive Director Joel Simon said. “It is clear to us that his detention is an attempt to silence his critical reporting on torture and human rights and to quash a dissident opinion.”
Mahmoud was transferred to Mahkoum prison in Tora, southeast of Cairo, where he is being held among convicted criminals in atrocious conditions, Lutfi told CPJ.
Mahmoud’s arrest follows an early Friday raid by state security officers at his parent’s home in the northern city of Alexandria, according to CPJ sources. State security officers wanted to arrest him then, but he wasn’t home. Mahmoud has been living in Cairo for two years.
In his blog, Ana-Ikhwan, Mahmoud criticized the torture of civilians by Egyptian authorities and the country’s practice of trying civilians in military courts. In late March, Mahmoud testified at an international conference in Cairo, where he alleged that he was tortured himself during an incarceration in early 2003. Mahmoud was also detained for six months in 2006 and released last September.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest opposition group, was outlawed in 1954. The group remains openly active and the target of frequent government crackdowns. Mahmoud writes for the Muslim Brotherhood Web site Ikhwanweb.
In the last year, the government detained several bloggers affiliated with the country’s pro-democracy movement. In February, Egyptian blogger Abdel Karim Suleiman, who goes by the online name Karim Amer, was convicted by a criminal court of insulting Islam and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He was sentenced to four years in prison, according to international news reports.
Egypt expels New York Times correspondent, detains local journalist on false news charges
February 19, 2019 2:30 PM ET
Washington, D.C., February 19, 2019--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns yesterday's detention and expulsion of New York Times correspondent David D. Kirkpatrick and the ongoing detention of Egyptian journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada, and calls on Egyptian authorities to allow journalists to travel into the country and report freely....
Egyptian TV presenter sentenced to prison for interview with gay man
January 24, 2019 4:56 PM ET
New York, January 24, 2019--Egyptian authorities should drop all charges against TV presenter Mohamed al-Gheiti and stop their relentless campaign against journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
Egypt extends detention period for four journalists held as part of mass trial
August 21, 2018 5:16 PM ET
New York, August 21, 2018-- Egyptian national security prosecutors ordered four more journalists to be detained as part of a case in which more than a dozen journalists, along with academics and activists, are charged with belonging to a banned group and with spreading false news. The Committee to...
Washington, D.C., July 26, 2018-- Egyptian national security prosecutors in the past two weeks prolonged the detention of at least five journalists, according to Egypt's Journalists' Syndicate, the local press freedom group Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), and news reports. Authorities accuse the journalists, who had been...
CPJ calls on Egyptian authorities to release journalists held on false news charges
July 10, 2018 11:31 AM ET
Washington, D.C., July 10, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Egyptian authorities to drop the charges against a group of journalists held in pretrial detention for false news and release the journalists immediately....