Egyptian journalist sentenced to 15 years in prison for role in Al-Jazeera documentary

Egyptian police arrested Khaled Abdel Wahab Radwan from his home on March 7, 2014, according to the Arab Network for Human Rights Information and news reports.

Radwan worked as a managing producer for the television channel Misr 25, which was owned by figures linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Police raided and sealed the channel’s office after the ouster of the former President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013. On May 7, 2016, a Cairo criminal court convicted him and 10 other co-defendants of espionage, finding they had helped to smuggle secret documents to Qatari intelligence officers and the Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera, according to news reports. Three other journalists, Ibrahim Helal, former news director at Al-Jazeera’s Arabic news channel, Al-Jazeera producer Alaa Omar Mohammed Sablan, and Asmaa Al-Khatib, a former news editor for the pro-Muslim Brotherhood news website Rassd, were among the co-defendants.

The court’s explanation of the verdict, which was published on June 18, 2016, said Radwan was sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to news reports. Helal, Sablan and Al-Khatib, who were tried in absentia, were sentenced to death. The Court of Cassation is scheduled to hear the journalist’s’ appeal on May 20, 2017, according to news reports.

In a statement he gave to court, Radwan said that documentary filmmaker Islam Afifi, one of the co-defendants, asked him to assist producing a segment for Al-Jazeera featuring documents that Al-Khatib had obtained from the former president’s office, news outlets reported. He also said that he helped send the documents to the Qatari broadcaster for journalistic purposes. The court listed documentation of wire transfers Radwan received from Al-Jazeera as evidence against him, according to news reports.

The documents listed in the case records include a memorandum dated May 2013 from Mahmoud Hegazy, then the head of Military Intelligence, to Morsi, recommending that the president work more closely with Hamas to maintain stability in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, according to news reports.

Radwan is jailed in Scorpion Prison, a maximum security facility on the southern edge of Cairo, southern according to news reports. His family said that he is not receiving adequate medical care for a stomach ulcer and diaphragmatic hernia, according to the same reports.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Radwan was mistakenly not included in CPJ’s 2014, 2015, and 2016 censuses of journalists jailed around the world.