Washington, D.C., July 29, 2021—Egyptian authorities should drop all charges against press freedom advocate Gamal Eid and allow him to work and travel freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
On July 27, an Egyptian investigative judge questioned Eid, founder of the regional press freedom group Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), for the first time in a decade-long case alleging, among other charges, that CPJ paid him to defame Egypt internationally, according to news reports and Eid, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.
Eid told CPJ that the judge specifically asked him about the allegations implicating CPJ during his questioning.
“The Committee to Protect Journalists did not provide funding for Gamal Eid or the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, and finds these accusations ridiculous,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator Sherif Mansour. “Egypt’s legal harassment of Eid must stop, and he should be allowed to travel and access his bank account immediately.”
The reports, as well as a statement from ANHRI, said that Eid’s lawyers were given access to the 2,000-page case file on Eid, which reiterated the allegations about CPJ; CPJ first denied the allegations in 2016 after reviewing court documents. In 2016, Eid was banned from traveling and had his assets frozen in the same case, as CPJ documented at the time.
CPJ emailed Egyptian public prosecutor Hamada al-Sawi for comment but did not receive an immediate reply.