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In this Nov. 24, 2017 photo, Lina Attalah, editor-in-chief of Mada Masr, a prominent investigative media outlet in Egypt, participates in a panel discussion at cultural center in Cairo, Egypt. Mada Masr said editor Lina Attalah was arrested Sunday, May 17, 2020, outside Cairo's Tora prison complex. She was there to interview the mother of a prominent jailed activist, Alaa Abdelfattah. It's the latest arrest amid a wider crackdown on dissent. (AP/Roger Anis)

Egyptian police arrest Mada Masr editor Lina Attalah outside of Tora prison

May 17, 2020 12:10 PM ET

New York, May 17, 2020— Egyptian authorities must immediately release Mada Masr editor-in-chief Lina Attalah, who was arrested outside the prison where her colleague Alaa Abdelfattah is on hunger strike protesting his detention, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

“We hold Egyptian authorities directly responsible for Lina Attalah’s freedom and Alaa Abdelfattah’s health,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “Egypt must immediately release Lina and ensure Alaa’s safety and his lawful legal rights to family visitation and medical treatment in prison.”

Attalah, who is also the co-founder the independent news website, was arrested outside of Tora prison while attempting to interview Abdelfattah’s mother, Laila Soueif. Attalah was sent to Maadi police station to be held overnight before being questioned by prosecutors tomorrow, Mada Masr said in a statement.

Abdelfattah, who was arrested in September last year following a critical column in Mada Masr, began a hunger strike more than one month ago to protest his pretrial detention conditions, his family and colleagues said.