New York, September 6, 2022 – In response to news reports that Egyptian authorities recently summoned four journalists from the independent news website Mada Masr for interrogation, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement calling for authorities to cease harassing the outlet and its staff:
“Egyptian authorities should drop their attempt to interrogate Mada Masr journalists Lina Attalah, Rana Mamdouh, Sara Seif Eddin, and Beesan Kassab, and ensure they can work freely and without harassment,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour, in Washington, D.C. “This harassment shows how determined President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi’s government is to punish journalists for their work.”
On Saturday, September 3, Mada Masr learned that authorities had summoned at least one of its journalists for questioning after members of the ruling Nation’s Future Party had filed dozens of complaints naming reporters Rana Mamdouh, Sara Seif Eddin, and Beesan Kassab, according to the website.
On Tuesday, the Cairo prosecutor’s office summoned those three reporters and Mada Masr editor-in-chief Lina Attalah to appear for an interrogation on Wednesday, according to those news reports and a statement by the outlet, which said the journalists planned to comply with the summons.
The Nation’s Future Party members’ complaints were issued in response to an August 31 article alleging that some members of that party had committed financial crimes, according to that statement and CPJ’s review of that article.
CPJ emailed the Nation’s Future Party and the Ministry of Interior for comment, but did not receive any response.