Brussels, February 14, 2022 — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen must speak out on media freedom when she meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi this week, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Monday.
“Egyptian President el-Sisi has systematically attacked the press, imprisoned journalists, and silenced critical voices,” said Tom Gibson, CPJ’s EU representative. “The European Commission should abide by its values and demand during el-Sisi’s upcoming visit that Egyptian authorities cease their repression of the media. The commission cannot let business carry on as usual.”
In its 2021 prison census, CPJ documented at least 25 journalists in detention in Egypt, making it the world’s third-worst jailer of journalists. Egyptian authorities have repeatedly harassed and censored journalists through legal threats, surveillance, and imprisonment.