New York, November 27, 2019 — Egyptian authorities should immediately release journalists Solafa Sallam, Hossam El-Sayyad, and Mohamed Salah, drop any charges against them, and stop imprisoning and harassing the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Plainclothes Egyptian security forces arrested Sallam, El-Sayyad, and Salah at a cafe in the Dokki area of Giza, and their whereabouts are unknown, according to local news website Mada Masr and twitter posts from the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. The arrests come after Egyptian authorities briefly detained four journalists from Mada Masr and raided the outlet’s office on November 24, as CPJ reported at the time.
“Egyptian authorities have clearly learned nothing after the international outcry over their recent detentions of journalists, and are determined to continue a losing strategy,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Senior Researcher Justin Shilad. “Authorities must immediately release Solafa Sallam, Hossam El-Sayyad and Mohamed Salah and stop their ruthless crackdown against the press.”
Sallam is a freelance reporter who has contributed to international outlets such as the BBC and German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, according to her Twitter bio. El-Sayyad is Sallam’s husband and a freelance photographer, and Salah is a blogger, according to an Egyptian press freedom activist who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal. At least eight journalists have been detained since rare protests broke out in Egypt in September, according to CPJ reporting.