Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivers a speech in Brest, France, on February 11, 2022. CPJ called on the European Commission to stand for press freedom during el-Sisi's visit to the EU. (Reuters/Ludovic Marin)

CPJ welcomes Egypt’s release of two journalists, says others must also be freed

Washington, D.C., April 26, 2022 – The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes news reports that Egypt has included journalists Mohamed Salah and Abdo Fayed among its latest prisoner releases, but calls on Egyptian authorities to release at least 23 other journalists in custody.

“We are pleased that Salah and Fayed are getting some relief after their unjust and prolonged detention, but there must also be justice for the many other journalists being held in Egypt’s jails,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator. “The Biden administration and other U.S. officials should continue to hold President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s feet close to the fire if he doesn’t deliver on reforms.”

The reports said the latest releases follow el-Sisi’s promises to call for political dialogue in the wake of growing concern among U.S. lawmakers about Egypt’s human rights record and the Biden administration’s decision to make a portion of U.S. military aid to Cairo conditional upon improvement of that record.

As of December 1, 2021, Egypt was the world’s third-worst jailer of journalists, with at least 25 reporters imprisoned in the country in retaliation for their work, according to CPJ’s most recent prison census.