New York, September 2, 2020 – Since August 24, the Egyptian state prosecutor’s office has filed additional charges against imprisoned journalists Mohamed Salah, Solafa Magdy, and Esraa Abdelfattah, for actions they allegedly committed while in pretrial detention, according to local news reports.
On August 24, the prosecutor’s office charged Salah with membership in a terrorist group, funding such a group, and spreading false news on social media; on August 30, the office charged Magdy with membership in a terrorist group, spreading false news, and misusing social media; on August 31, it charged Abdelfattah with membership in a terrorist organization and committing terrorist crimes from inside the prison, according to those reports.
“Filing new charges for crimes allegedly committed while in custody is another way of ensuring that reporters Mohamed Salah, Solafa Magdy, and Esraa Abdelfattah never leave pretrial detention and work freely,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour, from Washington, D.C. “These new charges are a clear example of state retaliation against the journalists, who have been imprisoned for months amid a global pandemic. They should be released immediately and unconditionally.”
The prosecutor’s office ordered the journalists, whose detentions were to expire at the end of August, to remain in detention for 15 more days, according to those reports.
CPJ emailed the Ministry of Interior for comment but did not receive an immediate response.