New York, March 6, 2023–In response to reports that three journalists from the Egyptian independent news website Mada Masr are scheduled to face trial on Tuesday, March 7, on charges of misusing social media and offending members of parliament, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement calling for the charges against them to be dropped:
“Egyptian authorities must immediately and unconditionally drop the charges against Mada Masr journalists Rana Mamdouh, Sara Seif Eddin, and Beesan Kassab, and cease pursuing the unjust case against them,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “This judicial harassment is a clear attack on journalists and the independent press in Egypt.”
On Tuesday, Mamdouh, Eddin, and Kassab will face trial for allegedly misusing social media and offending members of the Nation’s Future Party, according to a statement by Mada Masr and news reports. If convicted, the journalists could each face up to two years in prison and fines up to 300,000 pounds (US$9,733).
This trial stems from a complaint issued by Nation’s Future Party members over a Mada Masr article by the three journalists published on August 31, 2022, which alleged that members of the party had been involved in financial misconduct, according to those sources.
CPJ emailed the Ministry of Interior and the Nation’s Future Party for comment but did not receive any response.